The twelve year old black girl sat in her new wheel chair, weeping in a half mournful, half feeling sorry for herself way. Her mother sat on the girl’s hospital bed, while her father stood next to her. A doctor standing in front of her said, “depression is normal for a person with her traumatic injuries. She should begin to come out of it as she progresses in her rehabilitation therapy.”
The girl, Beth, was the victim of a tragic accident. A car backing out of a driveway had run over her crushing her legs and forcing an amputation at the knees of both legs. At 12, her life seemed over. There would be no basketball, her favorite, and no running, period. Her life would be filled with surgeries and struggle. In the wheelchair, with only half her legs, she felt embarrassed, like a fish out of water.
When the doctor left the room, her mother sat there staring at her sobbing daughter for a few moments. At length, she rose from the bed and took Beth’s hand in hers saying, “child, I love you and it hurts me so much. First thing we are going to do is to pray to our Lord for guidance and strength.”
The father joined the mother in holding Beth’s hands and he prayed. When he had finished, Beth began crying again saying, “Daddy, your prayer said nothing about my legs.”
Beth’s mother stared into her eyes and said, “Child, your legs are never coming back.” She kept her stare fixed on Beth’s eyes then, with a firm, yet motherly voice, said, “ every day, I have walked up and down the halls of this hospital. It is filled with children and their families without hope…in desperation. We are going down the hallway out there, and you are going to visit them to be a blessing to them for the Lord.”
Beth is 68 years old, now. She is retired from her job of 46 years. She went down that hallway. Our Lord opened her heart and let the holy spirit surge forth from her more and more with each new room they entered that day. Her mother’s faith told her every seeming tragedy can be used to glorify our Father’s name and bring faith and salvation to others. Beth went down the hallway that day and everyday she was in the hospital. If she was a few minutes late in making her rounds, the families and children would inquire of the nurses as to Beth’s whereabouts. After leaving the hospital, Beth returned to make her rounds praying and spreading the love of our Lord to children and families at least twice a week, not for awhile, but for life. Now that she is retired, Beth makes her rounds, at least, five days a week. She says they called her sister till age caught up with her. Now, it’s Mother Beth. The depression was gone before she finished the first round that first day and never returned. Beth never was a fish out of water again after that first round that first day. Nor did anyone ever see her skin color again. How our Lord can turn seeming tragedy into a blessing.
Beth, contrary to what one might think, told this story as the loss of her legs was an enormous blessing from our Lord. Her love of the children and their families has been returned a thousand times over to her. Love, the treasure that increases with the giving. All glory to him, our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.