I quickly finished the last seam of the white baptismal robe that Brenda needed for her big day.
Even though I was Brenda’s doctor I had been given the privilege of becoming a part of many of the special events of her life. Today was to be one of those days.
Brenda was eight years old and was confined to a wheelchair due to a crippling disease. She had been given to her Grandpa and Grandma to raise on the farm. The old white horse that resided on the farm soon became the highlight of her day.
She made friends quickly at school. Even though she was physically limited she was smart and made good grades. She struggled daily to overcome having to be lifted out of her wheelchair because of having no control of her legs or spine. She had no coordination with her hands and arms. Words were very hard for her to speak. But, her smile that reached from ear to ear captivated your heart.
Unpredictable bathroom habits made every aspect of life a moment by moment challenge for Brenda, who never showed any signs of self-pity. Her weekly visits to the hospital for physical therapy and medical care buried her deep in the hearts of the doctors and nurses.
Weekends were her favorite time of the week because she got to ride Old White on a special made saddle just for her. The old barn was huge and old and ready to fall down, but Brenda and Old White kept it standing. Riding was a natural therapy and instinctively helped in every way. The bonding between this horse and rider accomplished what nothing else could do.
She spent time in the kitchen watching grandma cook and bake. Oh how she wished she could dip her hands into the big kettle of sliced apples and stir in the cinnamon and sugar.
Playing with the dog, Old Roy, on the floor strengthened her muscles as she learned to turn over with his help.
Sunday’s were special. Brenda loved singing and her joyful sounds blended in with everyone else’s. She sang her heart out with that special smile that everyone loved and you could just feel heaven applaud.
This Sunday was special. Brenda was going to be baptized. The whole church had gathered at Crooked Creek and the accordion played “Shall We Gather at the River.” We hurriedly dressed Brenda in her white baptismal robe. The elders rolled her to the waters edge in her wheelchair.
The Pastor wadded out and found a safe level of water while grandpa helped to lift the wheelchair out to the Pastor. They carefully supported Brenda’s arms while grandpa held her nose as she went down into and up out of the water displaying her ear to ear smile as the water dripped from her face.
Brenda’s perseverance, dedication and touch from God brought her to a new plateau in life. Many years have passed since that day. In spite of her handicaps she became a faithful, loved and trusted employee at a Bank. She was blessed with a loving, helpful, devoted husband and a beautiful daughter that looks just like mommy and a darling son that is the image of his daddy. She smiles from ear to ear as she watches her children run and play as she always longed to do herself.
I smile as I remember the day I was blessed to be with her that Sunday at Crooked Creek. The elation of faith and joy I felt that day as the Holy Spirit engulfed such a beautiful child warmed my heart once again.
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