"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Friday, March 23, 2007

One More Rubber Tree Got Moved

I heard a story the other day from a friend that affected me in a surprising way. Surprising because it was one of those days when I was not living up to my own expectations, nothing was going right for me, I could not seem to get myself into a smooth gear; basically I was throwing a great big ole’ Jimmy Pity Party. Now, don’t go getting all smug as you sit there reading this because I know you and I know you have those same parties for yourselves. You enjoy feeling downtrodden, feeling the weight of the unjust world on your shoulders and getting a degree of pleasure in making those around you aware of your personal party to which they are not invited.

Now, back to the story from my friend. She was reading my new book “Being God’s” and told me that a young man in her church would enjoy reading it primarily because of the circumstances of his life. She and her husband have known him closely for many years. A number of years ago, Chris was in a tragic automobile accident and ended up hanging upside down held only by his seat belt. I’m not sure of all the specifics, but basically the doctors thought that due to the extent of his injuries that he might not live and if he did, he would never walk again. His prognosis was paralysis from the neck down. Chris and his determination (plus a whole bunch of continued prayers), saw him live, enter the Shepherd’s Spinal Clinic and eventually leave there walking down the driveway. The young man, who was to be paralyzed at best, was walking. Under his own power and strength. Since then, he has graduated high school and is about to graduate from college and enter the teaching profession.

However, the story does not end there. Recently, Chris realized that the only thing he was still missing in his life was a relationship with God; a personal relationship that would allow him to use his trials and experiences to minister to the students he would be teaching. He asked God into his life and his story ministered to me that day.

How often do we get out of sorts because the coffee maker doesn’t cut on when the timer is set? When someone has borrowed my scissors at work for the umpteenth time without returning them and I want to insert those same scissors into their body can generate a snarky word or attitude from me (yes, even I can be snarky at times). People get bent out of shape because of how the toilet paper is on the roll, whether the restaurant server forgets the extra pickles, traffic is backed up at the drive-thru and you are already late for work, blah blah blah.

Chris was facing the worst times of his life, yet he was determined to not let go of Hope. Through days of discouragement and disappointment, he endured, persevered; he overcame and won the battle. Would I have had the same attitude? I don’t know. Would you?

We are told in Philippians 4:13 that we can “do anything through Christ who gives us strength.” Folks, one thing I can assure you is the truth of that one verse. It has been proven in my life, lives of my family and friends, and now I know of the truth in the life of Chris.

When I left my friend’s office that day, I noticed that spring had come to McDonough. It was suddenly a beautiful day because one young man, whom I have never met, gave me a new attitude on the importance of living for today and trusting in the strength of God.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


At 3:01 PM, Blogger PresentStorm said...

Now that is just awesome and inspiring... Thank you for sharing this story :)


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