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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The "HUMPS" We Carry


I watched an elderly woman maneuver her car into the parking lot today. After what seemed like hours she finally emerged from her massive sedan. The shadow alone from this massive car seemed to swallow the woman. She was your garden variety senior citizen, oversized glasses, double knit polyester, and a handicapped decal proudly displayed in her windshield. A glance that lasted longer perhaps than it should, I made mental notes of her weathered face, her deep set blue eyes and over processed hair that must have been competing with the sun that day for who could adorn the most yellow, yet my eyes would not leave her.
What caught my attention about this woman was not what she carried in her hand. It wasn’t her purse or the stack of coupons nestled closer than a newborn baby. It was what she carried on her back. The most striking thing about this woman was the hump on her back. It made me so sad to think of such a fragile woman carrying something so weighty on her back. The hump seemed so heavy, like it was the very worst part of her life cemented in the middle of her spine. It was like watching a pregnant woman walk, but in reverse. Sickness, divorce, debt, loneliness, death, war, struggle, sexism, unemployment, cancer, sexual harassment, depression, child abuse, ageism, abortions, and everything she could never utter a word about in her life grew into what she carried on her back.
I wonder if the woman had vocally rid herself of more hurtful events in her life, the literally she wouldn’t be carrying the proof on her back. I guess I saw a future, but I certainly didn’t want it to be mine. 2009 has arrived and if I ever want to be “hump” free I can’t “carry” the same people, places, habits, thoughts, and actions throughout my life. If I “saw” her “hump” then maybe she “saw” my “hump” too. I wonder what she thought of me. Did she know that I had my own “hump” that I carried too? It wasn’t physically visible but a “hump” nonetheless. Seeing her gave me a jolt of instant courage and I instantly no longer felt the need to keep seeing the chiropractor anymore. My “hump” was spiritual and could only be corrected by “aligning’ myself with God’s Word. I’ve tried to do this everyday this year and so far my posture has never been better!

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