To Teach My Poor Mind

To Teach My Poor Mind

A man traversing an ancient stone bridge over a fast moving stream encountered a meditative old soul tossing sticks into the water and straining to see what she had done. She did not lift her head or shift the focus of her eyes from their downward gaze to even acknowledge his presence as he came close. There was nothing trivial about her motions or about the look in her fixated eyes. She anticipated no watchers. She intended no words. She was about her own business. The stream made all the noise and she none of it except the periodic breaking of the limb into various-sized pieces. As the sticks left her hand and fell below, she sharpened her focus on them, and lowered her brow, until they escaped her sight under the bridge.

“My pardon, m’am. Are you well today?”

“Better. So much better.”

“How so?” The man ventured.

“My feeling heart is becoming like my knowing mind so that my knowing mind makes me feel as I should.”

“What do you mean, old friend?”

“I was a sinful woman,” she answered, “in such shameful ways which I cannot even mention. When my mind is tempted to look too long on those awful sins against the Lord I love, I have trouble believing my Lord has forgiven me as he promised. As these sticks which I fashion in my mind to be my former sins, both smaller and larger, fall into the stream and disappear, I teach my poor mind to enjoy what I know, lest I feel what I shouldn’t.”