I will never forget the handsome young man
years ago wearing a motorcycle jacket
in the Marlon Brando style of the time, staring down at me from the high platform
of a Museum of Oddities located
in the basement of a building in Chicago, many decades ago. He had, of course, never had the ability to ride a motorcycle.

He was all, and only, torso: legless,
and armless. Our eyes met in a moment
of appalling and unforgettable sadness
for me.

What was he thinking? How could endure his helpless life, placed on a pedestal, literally, to be viewed with disbelief, pity, and surely horror.

I can never forget his stare, and I have prayed for him in my heart over the years.

It seems callous and ruthless to thank God for my arms and legs, for my ten fingers
and ten toes, in the light of my long acquaintance on the carnival pedestal.

I pray, dear Lord, for all those who face life without fingers or toes or limbs.

Some people might turn away in disgust
from an exhibit of human abnormalities,
seeing the human specimens as cruelly degraded and abused. But this attitude might have something in common with the
Victorian practice of hiding the malformed rich, who were never to be seen in public.

More recently I have seen the video
of a fast-moving magic act which employs several legless “little people”, as they are euphemistically called in today’s gentle lexicon. In the routine they appear to be "sawed in half," their body parts running around.

Are they being abused in a heartless display? Or are they earning their living through
the adroit imagination of a kindly employer?

I would vote for the second possibility.

Thank you, God, for all you have bestowed
on me, and please accept my fervent prayer for all those many, many people who are far less fortunate than I in many ways, but who nevertheless manage, somehow, to make their way successfully in the world.

All this I pray, in grateful humility
and deep appreciation,



Image Ownership Credits
Next Prayer
Prayer Index
Website Home

Contact - Comment - Question?
(c) 2013 -











eXTReMe Tracker