However, this principle of taking care of the ones who have taken care of us goes far beyond horses, oxen and ministers. It also applies to families. In our own family, my wife, her sister, and brother have recently become caretakers of their 94-year-old mother. In our first years, our parents loved and nurtured us; in their last years, we’re sometimes given the opportunity to return that gift of love and care.
What about all those people who serve us each day, the cooks, waitresses, cashiers, clerks, janitors and trash collectors? And don’t forget the teachers, secretaries, nurses, policemen, firemen, truck drivers, our military, postal workers and countless others.
It’s so easy to live under the illusion that we are self-made and to take the people we depend on for granted. Where would any of us be if it weren’t for those who take care of our many daily needs? The picture in the hat not only prompts our gratitude, but also asks: Are we sacrificially taking care of those who take care of us?
“Lord, don’t ever let us forget those who have carried us to this point in our journey. Give us a heart that’s bigger than the hat we wear, and the generosity of the cowboy inside. Amen.”
John Paul Carter’s “Notes From the Journey” is a regular feature of Viewpoints.