these boxing gloves were attached to a gift received when i was born. somehow they have survived some fifty plus years. they now hang as ornaments on our christmas tree each year. sappy and sentimental perhaps, but there are a few things i like about them. first, they are made with meticulous detail. they are like actual boxing gloves in miniature scale. second, they have endured for over five decades, and i appreciate endurance. third, they remind me not only of parts of my personality, but also of others i have had the privilege of knowing over the course of my life.
i suppose to some degree by nature and to some degree by conditioning, i am a quiet fighter. generally not the one throwing the first punch or leading the charge. but i fight nevertheless. and i know many others who i consider to be quiet fighters. people who face battles that most others aren’t even aware of, yet they fight with intensity. with passion. with resolve. whether it be some emotional struggle that would overtake them if they didn’t fight it. or something physical. whether it be some scarring event from the past that continues to hold back,to hold us down, to limit, etc., the battle goes on. there is courage there that most are not aware of because they are also not aware that there is even an enemy at war inside of them.
for me, i’ve got what some people call “an obvious disability.” nice descriptor, huh? yet, it is obvious. mostly little kids and the occasional adult will ask why i’m in a wheelchair. why i can’t walk. what happened to me? kids ask and parents blush and apologize for them. but i think it’s a natural thing to do, really. i have some kind of obvious disability thing going on. people are curious about it.
these boxing gloves remind me that a fight needs to continue. for all of us in one way or another. you may have an obvious or a hidden battle. you may be a quiet fighter or one that gets a little rambunctious about things. still, life asks us to fight for one thing or another. most every day. we’re asked to lean into things. to press on. to go against what feels easier to do but isn’t necessarily the courageous or healthy or loving thing to do. and…to never give up.
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when has has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12