Tara sat by the window; the sun shone on her radiant face. I’d seen such a humongous change in her countenance. I tried to analyze it and would sit for hours and watch her, trying to remember what I’d learned in my college psychology classes.
You see, my older sister was a quadriplegic. She used to get discouraged at her limitations but during this time, she demonstrated patience and peace. Tara always fascinated me. She could talk but her family was the only ones who could understand. People labeled her ‘retarded’ but she was anything but. She listened to books on tape for hours and took notes in her own choppy, high-pitched voice onto a tape recorder. She had astounding insights.
Finally, I gave up trying to figure her out and asked, “Tara, what’s up? You can’t even scratch your own nose but you’re so happy lately.”
She acted like she’d been waiting for me to ask that all along. “David, I had personal encounter with Jesus.”
I squirmed. We weren’t church-goers. In fact, Jesus’ name wasn’t even uttered in our house; not even in a curse. “I’m sorry, but I can’t believe in somebody who would do this to you.”
“I know. I same thought,” she explained, “but now I know He cares. I have new body in Heaven.”
She was tired so we had to let it go for then. Our conversation came back up though. Once Tara got something in her mind, there was no stopping her.
“Davie, you have questions?"
I couldn’t play dumb with Tara. She knew I’d been thinking. “How do you know Heaven’s real?”
“I go insane if didn’t know for sure.”
She had me there. I’d want something else to look forward to if I were her too.
“Not everyone go to Heaven. Bible say way is narrow. You, Mom, Dad… must go there. Want you believe in Jesus too.”
“The Bible say He worthy of our trust because He has supernatural identity – He’s the Son of God. He has impeccable integrity, a keen intellect, and miraculous powers.”
As she spoke, her words became clearer. Anyone listening could understand.
“He died a sacrificial death and was resurrected,” she continued.
Mom listened at the door. She wiped tears away before she came in to lay Tara down. We would finish this talk another time. She gave me much to ponder.
A week later, I visited Tara at her bedside. She was too weak to get up but her speech continued to be fluid and easily understood.
‘“Jesus said, ‘Don’t let your hearts be troubled.’ David, I’ve been trying to live that verse. I want to go to Heaven now. I think about how great it would be. Just imagine…I’ll be able to move my arms and walk. Even run!”
I stood up and turned my back on her. In my selfishness, I wanted to say, ‘NO! I want you to stay here. With me! Forever!’ I didn’t want to live without my big sister.
I sat back down. “I don’t want you to leave me.” I rubbed her arm even though she couldn’t feel it and looked deep into her eyes. I wanted to memorize everything about her.
“I can’t leave yet. I have to tell others about Jesus. But David, once my body starts to shut down, please let me go because I won’t be looking back. I’ll know I did all I could and I’ll be ready to meet with Jesus. Promise me you won’t hold me back, please?”
That cut to my heart but I had no choice but to promise. “Well, tell me more about Jesus. You’re going to have to start from scratch. You’ll be sticking around for years because I’m a slow learner.”
Tara sighed. I knew I wasn’t being fair.
“I’m sorry. Help me understand and believe in Jesus.”
I spent weeks at Tara’s feet soaking in her love for our Creator. Soon, He became my Savior and our parents came to believe, too. Tara’s unwavering faith was catchy.
She got her wish not long after we got our ‘Jesus legs.’ Our family gathered around her. We prayed and sang her favorite worship songs, and then released her from her broken body to get her very own real ‘Jesus legs.’
I whispered, “You did good work. Go now. No looking back, Tara.”
She lifted her arms and said; “Here I am, Jesus!” That act sealed my faith, for sure. ‘Come, Lord Jesus, come!’
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