Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)
TITLE: Opening My Eyes
By Esther Phillips
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The nurses came to our school to administer the shots. I barely remember the shots, but I can never forget classmates who were already hit by this dreaded disease. One of my very good friends was left to live out her life with a terrible limp and could only get around on crutches.
Years later, I moved to another state and started attending a new church. I was introduced to Paul, who was on crutches. His condition looked so familiar to me. As I got to know him better, he told me about the difficulties he had and that they were caused by Polio. He became an inspiration to me. I watched and learned as he fought to get spaces marked “handicapped” in front of public buildings such as businesses, churches, schools, etc.
Jennifer was a lady I came to know in this new church of mine, too. Her husband decided he couldn’t deal with their handicapped child so he took off and left her alone to care for their daughter. One Sunday she and I decided to go to lunch together after church. As we pulled into the parking lot, I saw someone quickly take the only handicapped spot in front of the restaurant. I made it my business to tell them that this was a handicapped spot, and it was needed by my friend who had a handicapped child. They apologized and quickly moved to another spot.
One thing I noticed with both Paul and Jennifer is that they didn’t have an attitude of “why me, Lord.” Instead, they accepted their lot in life and tried to make people aware of the needs that accompanied their conditions. You might say they lived by this quote in the Bible: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6: 34, NIV)
I have lost track of two of these friends, but Paul is deceased and is buried in the cemetery a few steps from where my husband is buried. When I go there, I always walk over to his grave and say a prayer for him. I thank him for opening my eyes to see the difficulties of those who are handicapped. I also know that whatever comes into our lives, we have a choice of how we handle them.
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