Minibus Chronicles: Sometimes we forget to be grateful

It was just a regular night out to the store to pick up some ice cream so that I could enjoy the wife’s freshly baked peach cobbler. On the way back we squished into the back of a minibus with our groceries and I felt a slight pain in my shoulder. Just about a year ago I underwent surgery on my shoulder to prevent it from continuously dislocating which had become a painful norm for the past 6 years.

Shezza saw me wince and turned towards me, “Are you okay?”

“Alhamdulilah (All praise be to God), I’m good. I don’t think my shoulder is going to get any better though. It isn’t popping out anymore but I think this pain isn’t going to subside.”

She made that face that wive’s make when they feel bad for their husbands.

About a minute later an older woman flagged down the bus and so the driver pulled over to pick her up. Under normal circumstances the bus would stop, someone would walk in (or a group of people) and in seconds we would be speeding along. This woman didn’t walk on that quickly, in fact, it took her almost a minute to walk on because she couldn’t walk on, she had to hop her way onto the bus. She only had one leg and was carrying groceries at the same time. She somehow managed to balance herself meanwhile holding her groceries. When it was time for her to get on the bus she hopped close enough, someone took her groceries and placed them on the floor, and in what was an extremely painful 20 seconds to watch, she struggled to get the perfect hop into the bus that was both high enough to clear the railing and low enough not to hit her head on the ceiling, meanwhile the man closest to her was attempting hold her free hand.

My eyes connected with Shezza as soon as the bus started moving again.

“Yes I know, we should be grateful.” The we should always be grateful tone coated her words.

“Yah, about that. I won’t be complaining anymore.”

One of my teachers mentioned in class that the people of faith are able to learn lessons from everything. They learn lessons from God, from the Prophets, from the stories and lives of scholars, from watching even the animals. I learned my lesson from a lady that had difficulty getting onto the minibus. This is what we should always be striving to do, to be those who are forever observant of what is transpiring around us and through that observance we will not only get closer to God and His creation but we will begin to know ourselves just a little bit better. We will be able to humble ourselves more than we were able the day before. 

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy to get to this state and I could never claim to be one who has reached such a spiritual state. Yet it is one I wish to reach, it is one I wish for everyone. That even the rising and the falling of the sun will be a lesson for us and cause us to turn our gazes to the One that cannot be gazed upon.

May He bless us with His eternal Gaze.

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