Today I had a unique experience. I was doing some service when I noticed a pregnant woman with one arm. We were both participating in the same activity, and she had a friend with her, so I didn’t think much of it. Later during one of our activities, I had finished early and was just looking around. The one armed lady had her friend helping her, but because she was helping, her own project was not getting done. I walked over and asked if she would like some help, so her friend could finish what she was supposed to be doing. They both looked really relieved, and I was happy to be of assistance. The rest of the day I thought of this woman. I thought about the trials she'd had before in her life, and the trials she was about to have. She was beautiful. She was maybe in her 30’s, short, dark hair, married, and humble. I thought a lot of what words I would use to describe her. I think it’s fascinating the words we use to describe people. It all depends on the type of picture we want to paint.
There is a book series that I absolutely love! It’s called “The Great and Terrible” by Chris Stewart. I accidentally fell upon this book series about 3 years ago while working at a different University. I had a similar job and got to listen to books on CD every day. I went to the library and picked out a book that looked good, and started reading it. I’m not really an avid reader, in fact, this was the last series I read, and by that I mean I was tired of waiting for the CD’s that were checked out to come back to the library, so I got the books and sat down and read them!
Someone once mentioned to me a very profound thought. They said, “When God is talking to his angels, and your name comes up, what words does he use to describe you?” It really made me think. I hoped it was good. Maybe something like, “She’s a little all over the place, but she’s a great listener” or “She’s not perfect, but she tries her best.”
So in the first book of The Great and Terrible series called “Prologue: The Brothers” There is a paragraph where the Lord does just that. He comes to visit a particular family, and starts talking with one of the brothers, Ammon, about his sister Elizabeth. She’s not around, but she’s a painter. Here’s a bit of the conversation that ensues:
Jehovah walked to the small painting and picked it up, examining it proudly. “I’m so pleased with her,” he said, his voice full of pride. “She has worked so hard. And she is getting very good.” He shot a knowing look to Ammon. “Can I tell you something about her?” He asked him as he smiled.
Ammon nodded anxiously.
“When Elizabeth first started painting, it was very difficult for her. But look at this now. Isn’t it wonderful! Isn’t it great how she does that: sets her mind to something, decides she’s going to develop a talent, then works patiently, not embarrassed by her efforts, even if she starts out a little behind. When it comes to talents, I wish all of Father’s children could be just a little more like Beth: not afraid of failing, not embarrassed for their weakness, not so prideful in their efforts to improve.”
Ammon nodded agreement. Jehovah admired the painting for several minutes, turning it in various directions to catch the different shades of light. “It’s wonderful!” he said finally. “I’ve got to tell her how pleased I am” ( Stewart 108).
If you’re looking for a wonderful book to read, this series will change the way you look at life.
Meeting this one armed lady today also made me think of the movie “Soul Surfer.” It’s a story about a girl who loves surfing, and one day gets bit by a shark while out in the water. I was really moved and touched by this true story, and my heart goes out to her. I’m impressed that she keeps going and doing what she loves.
Many of us are “handicapped” in some way. Most people it’s in a way that no one can see. It’s easy to see someone who is struggling with a physical disability and know when and how to help them. Most of my friends who are handicapped are very humble, and love it when people offer to help at the appropriate time. They do all they can do, and when they’ve come to a point that they can’t keep going they ask for help. I think everyone needs to be more like this. I do anyway. When I feel like I’m sinking, I usually just keep swimming and hope I make it to dry land. It would be so much easier to tread water while you call for the lifeboat that is paddling right beside you. This is all Christ asks us to do. To do our best, to do all that we can do, and he’ll do the rest.
I’m so grateful for all of the blessings in my life, especially for my friends and family that help me all the time. I’m grateful for a functioning body that works correctly, and for the opportunity people give me to help and learn from them.
Stewart, Chris. Prologue: The Brothers. Salt Lake City 2003. Print.