Soaring on the Wings of Hope

I wonder what my life would have been like if my pernicious anemia had been diagnosed at birth. I wouldn’t have had to endure the humiliation of being called Professor Four Eyes, Professor Piddle Face, and the child who was labeled a tortoise by his kindergarten teacher, because he was so slow in understanding concepts taught in class. I wouldn’t have had to endure the humiliation of been the last one chosen for a team in my gym classes.

I would have been more popular in school. My mind would have been sharper, so I would have got a full scholarship to university. I would have had a doctorate by the age of 27. I would probably have chosen to be a professor in the humanities because of my passion for it.

I would have never been on the dehumanizing and spirit-killing existence of welfare. I would have never had to endure the deep inner pain of trying to get a stranger to accept what was remaining on my phone card, in exchange for a bus token to get home, and be looked at with such disgust. I would have never had to go to a food bank because neither welfare or the Ontario Disability Support Program provide for even the basic essentials of life. I would have never had to go to friends and family with hat in hand asking for their help.

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I wouldn’t have had to stay up until after 2:00 a.m. in high school trying to understand concepts, remember facts, figures, and important dates in history. Although I graduated from Grade 13 as an Ontario Scholar with an 80% average, if the B12 deficiency had been diagnosed, I probably would have received a full scholarship to an Ivy league school. Then, I would have been able to write my own career ticket. Yes, life would have been so much easier.

Do I have regrets? Do I grieve over not having had a stable financial future? Yes, I do, but God is showing me the importance of trusting Him in every circumstance.If my pernicious anemia had been diagnosed and treated early, I would have lost out on a very important gift, that no amount of money could ever buy. That priceless gift is the ability to understand the suffering of others.

No textbook can teach a person to care. We truly learn about the suffering of others by having experienced it ourselves. You can never teach anyone how to care. That gift is either there or it is not.

Perhaps, you are thinking today about your past. You wanted your life to be much easier than it is. You are experiencing some disillusionment about where you focused your life’s work on. You may even be filled with some anger about the way your life has turned out.

It is in those times when doubts come we can miss out on the wonderful life-changing blessings God and others want to give us.

Even with all I am experiencing singing at various churches and in the sanctuary of my home has helped me focus more on God. Singing fills me with such great joy! It gives me that vital connection with my Lord to deal with the daily stresses in my life. It causes me to be both encouraged and challenged to reach out to others with Christ’s hope in my heart.

Don’t dwell on the past. I did that. It poisoned my spirit. Focus on how you can be a gift to others by simply listening and understanding their needs. Recognize that you are a unique creation of God. You possess gifts and talents that could be used to change your community.

The truly amazing thing about each one of us is that our journey is unique. Rather than saying your life is dull, rejoice that it is your own special story that many need to hear.

Mom went on to be accepted to Seneca College even though she hadn’t graduated from high school. She successfully completed an assignment where the students were told what to do with certain paragraphs in a person’s biography, but not what to do with essential information such as where the person was from. Mom figured it out without any help. The English teacher was so shocked that she showed mom’s assignment to her program supervisor and many other teachers. It helped heal some of mom’s wounded past of being told that she was not that brilliant, when she was told by professors that her ability in spoken and written English was the equivalent to that of a university graduate.

This high school drop out, who had been told she would never amount to anything, took courses in mathematics, science, sociology, accounting, bookkeeping, and typing. She graduated from Seneca College with a 97.5 percent average.

She graduated from another program at Seneca College majoring in floristry. It was an academically rigorous program. I will always remember the many hours she would study the Latin names for plants. Mom would write the plant names over and over again. She would get me to quiz her on them until she got every Latin name right. She graduated from the program at the top of her class.

Mom was a gifted landscape painter. She painted a fall scene, where it looked like a birch tree was falling out of the picture. Students skipped two class periods to attend her lecture at Seneca on landscape painting. There were students standing outside the classroom content to listen to the lecture, even if they couldn’t see how mom was demonstrating various techniques, in bringing a landscape painting from a conceptual drawing to a finished painting.

My mom died of a massive heart attack at the age of 57, three days before Christmas 1992.

As I edit this piece, I revisit the sorrow of her loss. Yet, she gave her family and all those who had the blessing of knowing her a gift that is far more precious than all the wealth of this world. She showed me, her children and everyone willing to learn that where there is a will there is a way. God gives all of us the potential, the gifts, the talents, to touch and change lives.

It was mom’s example of fighting through adversity to accomplish her dreams, which created within me the desire to be like her by living my life not merely for myself, but that I like all of you in your own unique way, would be an ambassador of hope in a world where the inhumanity of poverty, anger,discouragement, doubt, rejection and despair, burn out hope’s light.

If my mom with all the challenges she had in her life could accomplish so much, then think what you could do with your life, if you stopped listening to those voices of defeat. Give them no further thought. I struggle in this area myself, but with the help of wise people, I am seeking to not have the naysayers have any further power over me. I remain open to constructive criticism, so I can be the best man of God I can be for my Lord.

We can soar on the wings of hope for a future filled with light and opportunities. Helen Keller wrote, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” Seek God even through the darkness to discover a brighter tomorrow.

About Dr. Kevin Osborne B.A., B.Th., M.A., M.Div., Psy.D., D.Sc., D.D.

I enjoy spending time with people just having a coffee or talking about life, philosophy, religion, politics or sharing a favorite joke or story. We learn from one another as we interact and share our joys, challenges and even our times of sadness. I enjoy reading, writing, singing and sharing in the blessing of community whether that is one on one or in groups. I'm married and am powned by two kitties named Sir William of Lounge a.k.a. Sir Lounge a Lot and Princess Catherine of Chaos a.k.a. Her Royal Highness Catherine of Englehart. Two years ago I completed my Doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) through St. James the Elder University. On Sept. 26th 2020, I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Canadian Christian Theological Seminary. These journeys were started over 20 years ago. In 1997 I received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canada Christian College & Graduate School. Between working and studying it took 13 years to finish it. Let us pray for and reach out to each other with kindness, love and an embracing compassion. We can working together be servants with two open hands to those in need so that hate, indifference and inequality would lose and love will win. The peace and abounding joy of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Posted on September 11, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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