Walking in step with the other, he paused when she paused. Each holding a skinny canned beverage boasting caffeine.
I’m standing in the kitchen of our vacation place, cleaning up from the breakfast spread, I look down to stare.
I’m drawn to their partnership, she takes his drink as he looks down towards the little boy with his face towards his lap and his arms angled perfectly at his sides, his legs positioned the same, the child seated in a small wheelchair.
It’s early and not so crowded, already hot, I decide they’re set on letting him see the ocean, planning to beat the Saturday crowd.
The man waits while the woman lights her cigarette, he takes a sip from his can and then passes it back to her. She manages all three, her Red Bull, his Monster and her Marlboro.
With both hands, he grips firm the wheelchair and as they pass by underneath, I step back, hoping to go unnoticed, my gaze and my sad sympathy.
Because they were determined in their partnership, their faces without expression, their eyes hollowed slightly.
Their day unfolding and being met by their best effort to continue, I felt.
I looked away. It’d be a shame I decided to have them see the pity in my eyes or worse, really, the acknowledgment of gratitude in my gaze that my life is mine.
But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. – Isaiah 50:7
Their faces set like flint and continuing forward, Lord help them I pray, lighten their loads and bless them in their endeavors with their child, help them to know you see them, that you see them unafraid and unashamed. Help me to see others, see others more than I see me.