Persons, places, and things: ‘I am meek and humble of heart’


By Barb Arland-Fye


A Sunday morning bike ride ended with trips to convenient care and the emergency room and a diagnosis of a pelvis fracture and a pinky fracture. To add insult to injury, I was riding into the wind and looking forward to coasting home with the wind at my back! The blessings of that day seemed limited, until God brought to my attention all of the other people, known and unknown to me, suffering from serious illness or injury. The ER doctor said my pelvis fracture was stable and might not require surgery. An orthopedist confirmed that surgery was unnecessary and the fracture would heal naturally. I thanked God repeatedly.

One more blessing emerged in the long hours after the accident and ER visit. Our son Colin had been unhappy with his care provider earlier in the day after learning his usual Sunday visit to our house would be delayed. However, he was his buoyant self when we were together that night as three-fourths of the Fye family (minus our son Patrick, who had to work that night). When I gingerly rose from the couch in the family room to head for the bathroom, Colin, said, “I will help you get to the bathroom.”

Gently, he crooked his arm into mine and guided me slowly through the kitchen and into the hallway to the bathroom. Along the way, speaking softly and sympathetically, he told me that he had experienced these kinds of accidents (as if to assure me, he knew how to respond). I smiled through the pain, wondering when he had ever experienced an accident like mine. His hold on my arm was so light that if I had fallen again, it would have caused both of us to fall to the ground! But the gesture warmed my heart. While Colin lives with autism and can become lost in his own world, he cares deeply about others and helps in any way he can, practicing the corporal works of mercy instinctually.


After Colin returned to his apartment, I asked my husband Steve why our son said he had experienced accidents like this before. Steve thought Colin might have been remembering the accidents our family members have experienced over the years and considered that as expertise!

In the Gospel reading for this Sunday, July 9 (Matt 11:2-30), Jesus exclaims: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned you have revealed them to little ones.”  Reading that opening verse, I thought about Colin’s innocence and steadfast faith that allows him to know God through Jesus. Even with my Catholic upbringing, education and career in the Church, I have not come as close to knowing God as Colin does.

The closing verse of the Gospel reading causes me to reflect on the accident and my relationship with God. “…Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

One of the authors of the “Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word” observes that the words translated as “meek” and “humble of heart,” “have similar meanings and can be translated, respectively, as ‘gentle or humble’  and ‘lowly or deferring oneself as a servant to others.’”

I regret the accident and have second-guessed myself on what I could have done differently. But perhaps God is asking me to think about the servants who have come to my aid and how I might do the same in the healing process and beyond.

(Contact Editor Barb Arland-Fye at

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