Friday, September 7, 2007

A wheelchair revisited...

I have the neatest answer to prayer to share with you all! Some of my "old faithful" readers will remember this post here about a young man in a wheelchair trying to cross a busy intersection with only one arm able to be used. The kicker was he was not in an electric wheelchair. It was a cold day and as we watched him trying to maneuver he would have to weave back and forth in his manual chair.

I looked at Pilot Dad and said, "There but for the grace of God go I, or anyone else." PD looked over and watched the young man struggling to go across the street. Later, he brings up the young man. "Why doesn't he have an electric wheelchair? I think we should see about getting him one! We could do that. Or maybe we could find a way to get one donated...or something. There has to be some way we can help that young man!"

The quest was on. We thought we might contact Joni Erickson Tada's organization to see what was available. My sister and husband live right where Joni is located and they sent us the information on how to contact her organization. Of course this was going on during the time of my mom being in the care center and then moving back home with us, and finally dying. And you all know what followed her death...PD's cancer. And the remodel. And the...add whatever else comes to your mind. *grimace*

But even with those things going on we were still moved to find this young man and get him an electric chair. The only problem was we didn't know where he lived. One day while Jim was out he saw the young man getting on the bus. With Pilot Dad driving and the bus getting ready to take off and each going in different directions PD was not able to contact him. Now, just so you understand my precious husband, NOTHING deters him when he is determined, or if he feels he is being called to do something. For example, when we moved to Montana years ago we were invited to the office Halloween party in which we had to dress "in costume." We had not even been at the office for a full week! I don't mind parties but I hate to do the costume thing. It's too much pressure for me...and I don't like what it represents. This was back in the 70's so it has only grown worse since then!

Well, I suggested we go as doctor and nurse since we had a stethoscope. We could build from there. Alas, we had nothing that would work in the way of clothing! PD thought it was a great idea and the fact that we had no clothing, like 'scrubs', was not going to deter him/us! "What do you suggest?" I asked. [I know better than to ask that now! lol!] "Why," he said, "we'll just go to the local hospital and borrow some scrubs!" "What?!!!" I asked, aghast! "There is no way we are going to walk into the local hospital and ask to borrow any scrubs. Besides they wouldn't do that anyway."

"Come on!" he said, walking out the door.

"PD we are NOT going to do this!"

"You don't have to go in with me. Just sit out in the car."

"You are absolutely right. I am. not. going. to. go. in. with. you."

We pull up in front of the hospital, curbside. We are not even in the parking lot. He leaves the car running [gas was MUCH cheaper back then] and runs up the stairs and disappears into the front door. In a few minutes he comes running out with two sets of scrubs.

Can you believe it?!!! "What did you tell them?"

I said we were new here and our office was having this party etc and we needed to borrow scrubs. Would they be willing to loan us 2 sets? Oh my yes, they said. [laughing] What fun! Just be sure whenever you return them to throw them in these containers for the dirty clothes!

So you see...where there is determination there is a way. My husband has never met an enemy. Everyone is his friend. There are no strangers in the world when it comes to my husband. :)

So it was with determination that he sat out to find out where this young man lived. He went to several homes in the area where handicapped people are known to live. They had not heard of him or seen him around. He asked at the gas station. They had seen him but didn't know anything else. We kept our eyes pealed. We just did not see him again.

Until last week when our good friends from Pennsylvania were visiting. We met for dinner at a local restaurant and then we were coming back to our home for dessert. The guys were riding in Carl's truck and Nancy and I were in our car. We are stopped at the red light at the busy intersection where we had originally seen the young man. I'm looking in my rear view mirror and to my amazement, just as the light turns green, I see PD jump out of the truck and run to the gas station! "Oh my!" I thought. "He must be having extreme difficulties after eating the food!" I'm thinking he is having to make a pit stop for the bathroom. Nancy and I see Carl turn around to go back to pick up PD so we continue on to our house.

In a few minutes the guys come in and I'm getting ready to ask PD if he is okay but he jumps in and says, "I found him, Pilot Mom! I found him!!!" "Who?" "The young man in the wheel chair. That's why I jumped out of the truck. I saw him at the gas station! And you know what? He HAS an electric chair he just doesn't have any batteries for it. He hasn't had any for about a year or so. I told him that God had laid him on my heart and we were ready to buy him the wheel chair but we would be just as willing to buy him his batteries.

I'm sure he looked a little taken aback at this grown man dancing around, quite excitedly, sharing how he wanted to buy him these batteries, and the whole thing about God etc, and PD had spilled food all over his shirt! LOL! Can't you just see it? I burst out laughing as did Nancy and Carl!

Well, PD asked him if he (I'll call him T), T was a Christian. Oh yes he assured PD. Oh, born again? PD asked. "Oh no, he replied, LDS." T works two jobs and writes poetry. He is published. He gave PD his card with his phone number on it and said to call him. We did, found out the info needed to be able to buy the batteries and today PD went and picked them up. Then tonight we went over and installed them in the chair.

Isn't that the neatest? To see how God moved within us and then He had already provided the wheelchair, it just needed two batteries! I can't believe how long it took but we were able to be obedient to the Lord's leading.

***Side Note***
He was injured in a sledding accident when he was 5 years old. His sled was going about 50 mph down the hill and he hit a metal post at the bottom with his head. They took 3 quarters of his scalp off and left him in a drug induced coma for a long time. They were trying to save as much of his brain as they could. He will be 31 in November. :) All those questions we had are now answered and we have a new friend who lives very close to us!

Pilot Mom


Goldwings said...

What an amazing story. Now if you can only bring him to REAL Christianity!

passing-thru said...

GREAT STORY -- SO REFRESHING -- REAL LIFE STUFF and with the Desire to be servants to all people- I so enjoyed AGAIN your input --- (what is LDS ?) is that something to do with the Mormoms ? - I think too , I enjoyed ALOT how PD asked him if he was a born-again Christian , right to the HEART OF THE MATTER --- A REFRESHING BLESSING THIS WAS - thanks ,


Testimonies bless the church, we all have them, just as Claire has blessed us by sharing of her husband's and her's Christ centered mission and the humor that mixed in with it -
And that name Joni Tada Erickson , I haven't heard that name for a long time --
Again , refreshing and am sure this will "prompt" the "pals" into remembering "WHEN"

Terry said...

Dear Pilot-mom..
I was a little tired last night, so I didn't take the time to read your story.
It was long and I didn't just want to skim over it because your stories are always so good!
I have been sitting here reading it now and being moved at Pilot-dad's generosity and laughing at the same time as the story unfolds.
How amazing you two are and I know first hand how willing you two are to lend a helping hand!

Oh, Pilot-mom the story of the scrubs is just too funny.
It reminds me of how the bad guy always sneaks into the hospital and pulls an orderly into the linen closet, knocks him out and swipes his outfit...You sure that there were no conkled out orderlies in that hospital?
You should have went in with that persistent husband of yours, you surely should have Pilot-mom!
What I find amazing is that the "borrowed duds" ALWAYS fit!
One size fits all I guess, eh?

On a more serious note though, I realy believe that just like Philip in Acts was sent of the Lord to the eunuch to tell that man how he could be saved..[I mean Philip was sent right to the mans's chariot], well so was Pilot-dad sent to T to be not only a physical help but a spiritual help to him.
I mean Pilot-dad was sent right to his wheelchair!

The Lord makes no mistakes and I am sure that T needs to be saved and now he will have the chance.
There are so many people that think they are Christians and yet know nothing about being born again!

I agree with Goldwings that this is an amazing story, and now the imortant thing is that you two special people will "bring this precious young soul to REAL Christianity"!
I would not be at all surprised Pilot-mom, if that Passing-thru includes T in the nightly prayer list. And that your new friend will know some day what it means to be born again!
And THAT not just in his head but in his heart!

Blessings to you and "PD".....Love Terry

Food all over his shirt??..Ha!!...sounds just like me!
I had tea all over my coat a few nights ago when I took Mom Golden out to Wendy's and spilled it all over myself...right after warning my dear mom to be careful and "don't spill your coffee!!

Pilot Mom said...

Amen, Goldwings! We need to be praying for his salvation!

Thanks Passing-thru! The term LDS stands for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints...the mormons.

Terry, I'm so glad you got a laugh out of my story! I could go into the hospital if it was today, but back then I was still way to shy and introverted. I hadn't been married to Jim long enough to where I came out of my shell. :)
He is so outgoing and I am such a wall flower. *hangs head* lol!!

Thanks for the laugh regarding YOUR spill while at Wendy's with your mom!! :) Isn't that always the way it is? It's always humbling...I KNOW God has a sense of humor! ;)

Felisol said...

Dear Pilot Mom,
loved your reality story.
There's a word in the Bible , but I cannot remeber it in Norwegian, but I'll try to quote some fragments: You shall walk in good deeds which the Lord has made ready in advance..
Hmm. Does sound quite right , but the idea is that God has made ready for us possibilities to do the good.
I thing both you and Pliot Dad are doer not only listeners.
That goes for most of the Pilgrim Pals as far as I have understood.
God bless you all

Vicki said...

Will be praying for "T" to come to know the Lord personally as you two minister to his needs. What a blessing!

hebrews 11:1 said...

Thnk you for the GREAT story!

I'll be praying for T's salvation