Posted on: January 15, 2020 Posted by: vudfc Comments: 0

By Matt Gordon

My sister’s family is at Disney World. There they are, posing on Space Mountain; and there again in front of the Disney Castle. All smiles and central Florida warmth.

I received joyful texts of their adventures whilst curled up on our bathroom floor. I didn’t stay on the bathroom floor long—no, a fighter like me? In just eight short hours I had army-crawled my way uncomfortably to our bed, some fourteen or so feet away.

The stomach bug—nay, it was bigger than that. The stomach rodent that invaded our home and innards first ravished my wife. She woke up on Monday and said, “I don’t feel good.” I said the thing a good husband says when his wife admits such, “Yeah, I don’t either.” What I found in husbandry is that it is best to never ask questions and generally turn even the most mundane comments back to oneself.

I whisked out the door to a busy workweek, and my wife inched nearer and nearer to the bathroom floor of her choosing. A day later it had all worked its way out of her system, and graciously entered mine—sharing is caring, after all.

So it was in those moments, melodramatically pleading with God to make this better or end it all that my phone was declaring it to be a small world after all.

Our lives run the spectrum, don’t they? We have Disney moments and moments when we are discreetly taking a trash bag filled with soiled clothes and a rug to the curb for pick-up. When we are at the poles of our lives—the Magic Kingdom or the bathroom floor—it is often hard to remember those other times, or, more pressing perhaps, the others who may very well be occupying a terrain far removed from our own. Social media and constant unknowing and unfeeling connection, of course, has made this all the more evident, but it hasn’t created the issue, only magnified it. It is a thing that lives inside us—one that seeks to bring misery to others when we ourselves feel it, and one that forgets misery altogether in moments of bliss.

I don’t think the answer is not to send awesome pics from vacations to loved ones. I enjoyed receiving those very much, once I could actually, you know, really receive them. But there is an answer here—or, perhaps, at least the beginnings of one.

In this snapshot of sickness I was brought low. I was made to realize how little control I have over much of my life and no amount of will nor clean living nor self-help nor religious piety was going to do a thing to keep my body from retching, from chills, from feverish sweats. I am a human being, which is a sacred thing to be. It is also a fragile one. We expect tomorrow, but all of us will cease being before we reach all expected tomorrows. At some point, we all come up one tomorrow short.

This can be depressing for some, but it is reality and there is beauty woven into it. That beauty, I think, is humility. And that is the answer of which I speak. I left the sickness and mess of it on the bathroom floor, but I crawled away and hope to carry humility more firmly with me into seasons of happiness and seasons of trials. Humility is the awareness of self, of world, of others. It is the song of human experience—one of laughter and one of tears not so far apart, and we all live, bounding about the spectrum, within a smallness to us and to the world. Or better put:

 It’s a world of laughter
A world of tears
It’s a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

There is just one moon And one golden sun
And a smile means
Friendship to ev’ryone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small world after all

It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

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