Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Enlightening Back on My Feet Moment

One of the resident runners from Christopher’s place made my day this morning. How? He simply said “thank you”. After a three mile run during which he commented on the hills, and commented on not catching red lights (so he could rest), and commented on how just to look at directions we should stop a moment (to rest), he did manage to run the entire distance without stopping. I ran with him the whole way. It was a heartfelt thank you. It reminded me of the many times I’ve thanked others for helping me with my running.

It was a sign of a bond that continues to develop between me and the resident runners. A sign of the truth that I find in so many situations in life—to be cliché, the more you put in the more you get back.

It also reminded me of a Bible verse. This time, it does not come from any bib number of mine. This time, I could (in a stretch) add together two of my two mile time trials to get 25:40. What is 25:40? Well, if we look to Matthew 25:40, we find:

“And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'”

The resident member from Christopher’s place is not the least of anything. Although if I did not know him from Back on My Feet and saw someone like him on a street corner before he started on the road to recovery, I might have thought of him as the least of my brothers. I still have that built in bias—but I’m learning to shed it.

When all was said and done, he was tired, I helped, he appreciated it and that was that. He showed an attitude of gratitude to me like I have shown a similar attitude to so many others before—brothers and sisters. I hope that others felt as blessed when they helped me as I felt blessed to help Chris.

And, I’ll add one final afterthought. I’ve written before that when all is said and done I think that all social capital is about bonding rather than bridging. Bonding between people regardless of how far the outside world suggests the gap between them might be. It had not occurred to me before that there is an obvious link from scripture to this notion. As Jesus told us that when we do something for the least of our brothers we do it for him,,that, to me, emphasizes that we are all equal. There are no levels. What we have is a need for a mutual sense of reciprocity and we should do for all others exactly what we would hope they would do for us. From helping through a run to saying thank you to any other action small or large.

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