Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)
TITLE: Out of the Troubled Waters
By Rita Garcia
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
I beamed, with love, as my brother took his place to deliver the morning sermon. He began with the story of Peter from the book of Matthew. “The sea was gray and black and the moods of those aboard matched the colors.” My mind drifted back to when I was fifteen, and my brother Charlie was two years younger. There were only the two of us, no other brothers or sisters. Not that it would’ve made any difference, Charlie was special. The somber events of that year, 1952, remained fresh in my memory.
Mom thought Charlie had a case of influenza. When he complained of stiffness in his neck, and difficulty breathing, Doctor Jameson delivered the shocking diagnosis. “Charlie has paralytic polio, a virus that can affect the nerves governing the muscles in the limbs, as well as the muscles necessary for breathing.” The prognosis was grave, and time became his enemy. The longer the fever and pain raged within his body, the greater the fear that polio would claim his very life.
I remember going with Mom to the small hospital chapel. I listened as she sobbed in prayer beside me. “Please don’t let him die, it’s too soon.” I felt like my heart was being ripped right out of my chest, as I heard the anguish in her voice. I put my arms around my Mom and clung to her.
After the first few days, when polio can be contagious, I sat vigil along side my parents. Charlie’s sandy-colored hair needed to be cut, and his blue eyes were glazed over with pain. With words weakened by his condition he whispered, “I love you.” My father wiped the tears that streamed down his face.
Doctor Jameson rubbed his hand across his tired face. “Charlie is going to make it, and it seems the disease has not affected his arms.” His legs were so twisted and deformed he was not even a candidate for braces. This new prognosis sentenced him to life in a wheelchair. I wept into my pillow at night, not wanting my Mom to hear.
Mom hovered over Charlie for the first few months after he came home. She seldom left the house unless my father was home, and even then she hurried to get her errands done. She watched his every move, and seemed even more worried if he slept too much.
Charlie’s home tutor not only helped him catch up with his studies, but we ended up graduating the same year. Which was no surprise, he always was the smart one. Charlie made an unexpected announcement at the family celebration. “I believe God has placed a calling on my life to be a minister. Before you say anything, I realize it won’t be easy.” Few of us would quickly forget what happened next. I was sitting with Charlie when Grandpa Charles, on our father’s side, came over and made an announcement of his own.
“Son if you’re real sure about this calling, I will pay for your schooling.” The reason we were amazed is Grandpa never went to church, and I’m not even sure he believed. Once Charlie started preaching, Grandpa could be found sitting in the front row with his walking stick leaning against the end of the pew. He went forward and accepted Christ after one of Charlie’s messages. Charlie officiated at his funeral, and you can be sure there was not a dry eye in the chapel that day.
I pushed the silver strands back from my face, as my attention returned to the words Charlie was preaching. “Walking on the water Peter felt the raging wind whip around him, as his wet robe clung to his form. He took his eyes off Jesus. When he felt himself being pulled under the waves he cried out. Jesus never took His eyes off Peter, He heard his cry, and He helped him back into the boat.”
Thank you, Jesus. You never took Your eyes off my brother, even when he doubted his calling, You picked him up out of the troubled waters, and placed him back on the path you destined for him to walk.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.