On the 9th Day of Christmas . . .
Her left hand is permanently locked in place - like a clenched fist. It cannot grasp anything at all. Birth defect.
One of her legs was affected, too. Everywhere she goes, she slowly shuffles along with a marked limp.
But, it doesn't stop her.
All day long she stocks the shelves at a local retail outlet. How she does it, I do not know. Patience is written all over her face.
Over the course of a month, upwards of 20 MUMs volunteers drive her to work in the mornings. We also take her back home in the evening. (Most of our volunteers give us a half-day a month. Some drive more.)
When we pick her up, the routine is always the same . . . . With a cheery "Good morning!", and with much difficulty, she slides into the passenger seat. With her good hand, she pulls the seat belt across her lap, then glances over at you with an expectant look on her face. She's waiting on you to take the buckle and snap it into place. If you forget, she says not a word. She keeps trying to do it herself . . . . . . always with a smile!
On the way home in the afternoon, she sings for some of our volunteer ladies. It took her a long time to sing for me, but now she does. Sometimes we sing duets as we drive down the road on the way home from work.
A while back, I asked her to come and sing at our church. She fairly beamed as she exclaimed, "Oh yes, I would be glad to!"
Come Sunday, we all watched as she slowly limped up the two steps to the platform, placed that useless left hand on the pulpit, squared her shoulders, smilled sweetly, and belted out her rendition of "Hallelujah Square".
By the time she got to the second verse we in the congregation felt as if we were enveloped in a cloud of God's Glory . . . !
. . . "Now I saw a cripple, dragging his feet;
She lifted her eyes to the heavens and "let rip" on the Chorus:
He couldn't walk as we do down the street.
I said, "My Friend, I feel sorry for you."
But he said, "Up in heaven I'm gonna to walk just like you."
"I'll see all my friends in Hallelujah Square;
To tell you the truth, I stopped seeing her as a cripple a long time ago. She's one of the most balanced and one of the healthiest people that I have ever known.
What a wonderful time we'll all have up there.
We'll sing and praise Jesus, his glory to share,
And you won't see no cripples in Hallelujah Square.
No, you won't see no cripples in Hallelujah Square!"
But, Lord, how I look forward to the privilege of seeing her when she is with You in Glory .
. . . . . . . . swift as the swiftest, strong as the strongest!!!
We'll sing and praise Jesus, His Glory to share . . . . .
. . . And you'll not see one cripple . . ."
One of the most powerful aspects of this ministry is that, over time, our passengers and our volunteer drivers develop relationships with one another. Sometimes it's slow, sometimes quick. Sometimes it's fulfilling, sometimes very frustrating. Sometimes it's sad. Sometimes it's a joy!
With her, it's always a joy!
Say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come . . . . he will come to save you."
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Isa. 34:4-6