I spent the morning with a patient and her sister. They shared that they were both respectfully born in the year of the Dragon and the other, the year of the Tiger. It wasn't too long before they asked about my birth year, only for me to disclose that I was born in the year of the Rabbit.
The two laughed as they shared stories of how they fought with one another growing up. "Even if we were sitting across from one another at a table, our feet were often kicking one another."
Over the years, the two along with all their siblings, would make their way to the United States, learning that it was important to be strong women in a new place. The Tiger and the Dragon would each raise a family in this new place, surrounded by new customs and traditions, while holding strong to who they were as immigrants and children of people who dared to dream of a new life for them.
As I sat and listened to the Tiger share of her illness, I could see the power that she possessed, even wounded by illness, she was strong. She said, "I know that I am dying, but they have learned so much from my illness. You know there is a doctor that has written an entire paper on my illness."
The Dragon, listened to the Tiger, as tears rolled down her face. The Dragon admitted that the Tiger was by far the strongest and most faithful of the two, and questioned how life would be without the Tiger present in her life.
Being the Rabbit, I wasn't sure if I had ever found myself in a place, where I was surrounded by such powerful images. When I made a comment about this, the Dragon immediately reminded me, "Of course you are here. The Rabbit represents hope. It's exactly what all of us need. Even the Dragon and the Tiger."
As we joined our hands and prayed, giving thanks for the opportunity to share in this journey, the Dragon, Tiger and the Rabbit, all discovered the overwhelming presence of God, that brought us all together.
I love it when culture and traditions that have prevailed through the millenniums can provide room for the presence of God.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.