"What a piece of work is Man.........."
How noble in reason!
How infinite in faculty.
In form, in moving how express and
In action how like an angel,
In apprehension how like a god;
The beauty of the world, the paragon of
---Shakespeare, Hamlet, speech of Hamlet to Horatio in the graveyard.
More often than not these days, we may hear part of the first line of this sweeping poetry in a rather derogatory or sarcastic sense; i.e. 'What a piece of work!" or "That one is a piece of work!", neither of which Shaespeare had in mind.
Our bodies, our capabilities, talents, gifts, humor, honor, confientiality, fidelity, love: each can be expressive, each can be admirable....
In action, how like an angel: we can deliver a message of hope and peace, we can do God's bidding, we can set ourselves at the disposal and leading of our Lord....
In apprehension how like a god: we can have the amazing ability to perceive and understand....
The beauty of the world, the Paragon of animals: as animals go, we can comprehend a great deal; we can develop our bodies as well as our minds through specific training and unfailing dedication.
We can live into this amazing description. Do we? Do you? I, alas, do not. Certainly in my younger days was called 'a piece of work', yet the focus of my work was not noble. With some social deficits, my actions were self-serving rather than noble. Even until recently I was unaware how detrimental my daily actions could be to the rest of the food chain and the other creatures I share (and pray to God future generations will share) this planet with.
A soliloquy for a friend. And oh, if we were only as noble as Horatio once was - going down Hamlet's list of attributes would be an easy thing.
Whether it is to a definition of a lost friend or our understanding of the beneficence of God, we fall short. Or we simply fall.
Yet falling is not failing - it is attempting without getting the most excellent results. So we can get up again. Try again, attempt again, head toward the goal again.
Each of us, as children of a loving God are TRULY pieces of of remarkable work.... and from time to time we forget that reality, bogged down in the one we slosh through on a bad day. These poetic words may help us recall an image of our best selves - and with the grace of God, we may embody them fully.