Friday, December 31, 2010

The Stick Man

As we drive in and out of our neighborhood, we often see Bill, an older fellow, out and about. The road we travel out of has no homes facing either side; just fences and a grassy area to the street.

Bill is probably not as old as he looks. He's pleasant enough, very cordial and mannerly. He is a gentleman. He is quite slender and white haired. He mostly wears dark slacks and a white tee-shirt. He moves from one end of his side of the street to around the middle. He labors in the cold or the heat. I've seen him in 100 degree weather. I've asked if we can help. He politely declines and thanks me.

He picks up and moves sticks and branches from one part of the street to another.

I'm fascinated by this activity; as I said, I've offered help, but this appears to be Bill's thing to do. Is he well? Is he delusional?

The work he is doing is not really improving or altering the appearance of the grassy knolls. He makes a pile one day, then collects them up to another pile another day. I suspect that there is a mental thing going on, but, I also suspect that Bill is also acting on basic human nature.

We need purpose.

In his eyes and mind, he is collecting the chaotic and cleaning up the area.

I can identify with this. Can you? I must feel useful in order to feel good about myself. Now, whether this is the Father's complete plan for us is another matter. He certainly wants us to rest, to play, to ponder, to drink coffee--er, scratch that last one! He knows we require balance in our lives...something that I struggle with constantly. I feel guilty if I'm not active.

So, Bill may be pursuing purpose here, while he's still here. He's not always there, so I assume he has balance in some manner of his existence--he must rest. Maybe his purpose isn't just moving sticks. Maybe, just maybe, he is also reminding us to put the sticks down once in a while.

Happy New Year! Praying for a blessed 2011 for you and yours!


... Paige said...

oh my, this is a super post.

Happy New Year, may it be filled with healthfullness

Kansas Bob said...

Nice post Karen! I think that this true:

"I must feel useful in order to feel good about myself."

Yet sometimes feeling useful is a matter of perspective. Sometimes we have to lay down our ideas about what usefulness looks like as we get older and encounter limitations. Maybe being useful looks like loving?

Happy 2011.

Chris Ledgerwood said...

Great post, Karen

Milly said...

I love this. It's so cool how you see this man and what he might be doing.

karen said...

Thanks, ya'all... :-)

Connie said...

Putting down the sticks today, being the new grand daughter, and taking care of myself. The caregivers need to be willing to submit themselves to being cared for. From one who has not remembered to do that lately, I hope you are taking some breaks for yourself. I know those loving doggies help lots!