I really like new cars. I like the newest features, the cleanliness, and even the new car smell. I know there is a strong sentiment against purchasing new vehicles – the depreciation and all of that and, yes, I know Dave Ramsey’s thoughts on the subject… but I still really like new cars. We’ve owned a few throughout our marriage, each one a joy to own and drive.
In 2021, I obtained a new set of wheels. Shiny. Blue. Clean. There’s no new car smell this time. And it’s a one-seater. This set of wheels is a Rollator – a walker with wheels. It’s not a vehicle of choice and is acquired of necessity rather than desire, but it definitely has its benefits.
Before I go further, it will make it easier for writing purposes if I tell you that for many years I have named our cars. “Bluebird” was a beautiful bright blue Mazda. “My Private Jet” is a navy VW Jetta we still own but now is my husband’s vehicle instead of mine. Now it’s simply referred to as “The Jet”. “Hot Sauce” is my current vehicle – a gorgeous red VW Jetta. For a time, we also owned a third Jetta and it was appropriately named “The Triplet”.
Naturally my Rollator needed a name, too. Since he allows me to swiftly move about, I’ve named him “Buzz”. From this point forward in this article, that is what I will call my Rollator. Buzz.
As I mentioned earlier, although I would not have chosen this particular vehicle, there are benefits to owning Buzz. While I could name many, for the sake of space I’ll limit myself to just three.
Buzz helps me see others differently.
In the past, I fear I didn’t look closely at the people around me. I didn’t see their struggles, nor did I notice the smiles on their faces when they accomplished a small victory. I was too busy rushing around, doing what I thought was the right things. Serving the Lord. But alas, I fear in my busy-ness “for” the Lord, I was neglecting the Lord’s business. His business of loving others well.
In the words of Jesus (John 15:12) This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. How do we do that? By noticing people where they are and walking with them on life’s journey. Buzz helps me to do that. I see the mother who is struggling to open the door while juggling children, shopping bags, and other items. I see the elderly couple walking hand-in-hand because neither of them have the balance and strength they once did. I see the need for better handicap accessibility and for shopping cart return areas closer to the handicap parking spaces. I see the loneliness that often accompanies the challenges of people who have physical limitations. I see churches that are trying to be handicap accessible, but too often fall short of what is needed.
Yes, I see others differently, but that’s not enough. My actions need to show that I see them. I want to be one who makes a difference in the lives of others. I want to open doors for those who have their hands full. I want to take the time to encourage the elderly. I want to help by returning shopping carts for those who find that challenging. I want to visit those who are lonely. I want to help churches to be better at being handicap-friendly. I want to love others as Christ has loved me.
What aspects in your life help you to see others differently? How might God be using your life circumstances to help you in your relationships with others? Is there someone in your life who needs you to see her differently – and to do something about what you see?
Buzz changes the way people see me.
One of the things that surprised me about life with Buzz was the way others treat me. When I am walking across the parking lot, drivers stop and let me pass. When I am going in a building, strangers open doors for me. When I encounter acquaintances, they still ask the “How are you doing?” question we all tend to ask, but it seems like they are more intent on listening to the answer. In doing so, people also help me to see myself differently.
I tend to be one who struggles with the idea that I might be a burden to someone; that I am not doing my share of the work. The challenges that brought Buzz into my life have caused those insecurities to rear their ugly heads. Voices in my head tell me I am a burden; yet the kindness others show me helps me to accept their love graciously.
I am reminded of the story in the fifth chapter of Luke. Jesus had been teaching and the crowds had gathered. Some men brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus, believing that He could heal him. The crowd of people made it seem impossible for them to get to Jesus, but they didn’t give up. They climbed on the roof, a task that could not have been easy while carrying a paralyzed man. They removed tiles from the roof and lowered their paralyzed friend through the opening, right at the feet of Jesus. As the story unfolds, Jesus forgives the man of his sins but also says, Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home.
I have to ask myself, “Did the men consider their paralyzed friend a burden?” It would appear not. They went the extra mile to help him, or should I say, they climbed a building to help him. They saw him and his need and they wanted to help.
Look closely. How do you think people see you; really see you? Does someone want to help you? I once heard it said that if we aren’t willing to accept the help of another, then we are guilty of cheating them out of a blessing. Yes, it is easier – more pleasant – to be on the giving side than it is on the receiving side, but both are important. Let’s be women who are willing to accept the help of others.
Buzz reminds me that God’s love is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
This last point is actually something I know without a doubt. I’ve long known that God’s love is eternal. It is not bound by circumstances. He may not like what I do – my sins grieve Him greatly – but His love never fails.
Buzz has reminded me of this truth. When my mobility issues became challenging it would have been easy to give up, to wave the white flag of surrender and let my limitations define me. Instead I realized that is not who God created me to be. I am not defined by what I can’t do, or even by what I can do within my own power. I am defined by what God can do through me. The same is true of all of us. Our identity is in Christ Jesus. The Lord does not forsake us. Listen to God’s words in Isaiah 54:10a – For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
No matter what circumstances we face, God’s love will remain. His love is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Of that we can be certain!
That brings me comfort. My mobility issues may improve. They may not. I may become more limited in what I can do. I may not. But no matter what, God’s love is guaranteed. Aren’t you glad? I know I am!
Written by Jeanette Cloyd. Jeanette Cloyd’s days are busy working alongside her husband Brent who is the Associational Mission Strategist of Greater Wabash Baptist Association, caring for their son Brock, visiting her dad and the other residents of the Assisted Living Facility in Fairfield where they live, and doing volunteer work. At day’s end, she spends time indulging her creative side by making cards, which can be seen on her blog Cre8tive Play, Facebook, and Instagram.