Thursday, July 12, 2007

Last year I wrote about a man I had observed who lost his legs; he is bound to a wheelchair and lives in a less than prime part of town. However, I had seen him out tending his yard and the sidewalk in front of his house on one of my weekly trips downtown, bobbing up and down to prune and water his flowers, pick up trash from the walk, etc.

I saw this gentleman again today down the block from his house, picking up trash around the bus stop which is located adjacent to an old, run-down gas station that now services radios and electronics.

Last week we had a group of summer associates from an Indy law firm who were here to stain the trim on a couple of our cabins and to put in a stone path through a small area we have planted with prarie grass and wildflowers. They did a great job. One of the young ladies is a parapalegic who relies on her help-dog Duke to do little things that we take for granted, like turning on and off the lights, opening drawers and cabinets and retrieving the mundane necessities of life. It is obvious that this young woman was up to the challenges that life has dealt her and she seemed to have a very upbeat disposition about things.

Today we had a guest who spoke about the upcoming 2007 Disabled Water Ski National Championships which take place next week just outside of Indianapolis. I decided I am going to volunteer to help because I need to be around people like these who have learned to overcome the obstacles that have intruded into their lives, who make the best out every day.

Each one of us deals with some type of handicap, though for most of us they aren't physical. I am much more crippled by my fears and anxieties than many are by missing limbs. I spend too much time wondering "what if" (a common theme for single men - ok, maybe most men in mid-life) and not choosing to be proactive in my situation.

My license plate may not identify me as having any special needs in my life like some folk's do, but their ability to cope, even thrive in their daily lives gives a wonderful example of what we could accomplish if we put a bit of effort into it. The thing that holds most of us back each day from serving others and in so doing, serving our Lord, is not something others look at us and notice, but the inner workings of a defeated mind or spirit - certainly one of Satan's greatest pleasures.

Today, make the decision not to give him the pleasure....



At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you will be totally blessed surrounded by people at the water ski championship.
My nephew two years ago was riding his mountain bicycle in the mountains while attending college when he hit a rock with the front tire. The front tire went up and when it came down, it landed in a hole which caused him to loose control and crash. He broke his neck which has left him paralyzed from the waist down. What a inspiration he has been to not only his family but his friends. He missed that whole year of college due to hospitalization and therapy but with the aid of summer school, caught up with his graduating class and graduated from Azusa Pacific. Immediately after the accident while waiting for someone to help him, he asked God to give him the use of his right hand and his mind to think and pretty much that is what he has. Things in life that we take for granted are not the same for those in these situations. Although he has no feelings below his waist, should he sit on a tack and not feel it, his body still knows something is not right and therefore, his blood pressure gets high and could cause problems and ultimately death. Joey now plays wheelchair rugby and with the generosity of some chuch members, he was given a van that is equipped with the necessities to allow him to drive. Again, I know you will come away blessed by those you will come in contact with next week. Have fun.

The Mearig's
Huntington Beach, CA

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