Scenes From The Back Row

If you’ve followed my blog for the past several years, you know I have referenced Shepherd chapels before. Then, it was the endearing love of a mother for her newly and severely disabled son. Go ahead and read that account. It’s definitely tissue-worthy.

What a mother. A certifiable hero.

Today I was doing a bit of spying again from the back row during chapel and set my sights on a wife and her disabled husband a couple of seats in front of me. Again the homily from an over-trained but well-intentioned chaplain was dry and unaffecting, failing to connect with the core needs of the audience. But never fear, the real sermons happen all around you at a Shepherd chapel. That’s where the scenes and sounds of glory take place. So it pays to sit on the back row sometimes.

But for the record, and as a pastor, I wouldn’t encourage it.

This afternoon’s message came from the pair in the photo. Danny, like the son in the aforementioned story, is a quadriplegic. He cannot move his arms. He would have to be assisted just to give his wife a hug and, even then, would not feel the warmth of her body.

I don’t yet know Danny’s story but I know enough that he was able-bodied when he got married to this woman, and now he moves his chair by blowing into a straw. I wish you could see this marvelous woman love on her man, checking every few seconds to see if there’s anything he needs, jumping up to wipe the spittle from the corner of his mouth, smiling at him just to assure him that he is still the man she married, albeit diminished, and would marry him all over again.

That is truly heroic if you ask me.

I am sniveling as I think of the Sandy’s and Mrs. Danny’s and the mommy’s who rarely get the attention they deserve. We are the victims of fortunately unfortunate circumstances and they are the angels, the saviors, the heroes.

Check out the body language of this wife who, I’ve no doubt, will grow old with her husband through sickness and health. Take careful note that she is seated on a white folding chair, but occupies only half of it—the half closest to Danny. She wants to be as near to him as the space between a wooden chair and a wheelchair will allow. It’s like they were teenagers in love in a movie theater. This is intimacy. Have your Hollywood sex all you want.

I remain transfixed by the love story unfolding before me. Sure there will be new adjustments and—yes—those dratted, humiliating physical limitations, but I applaud this heroic woman for rolling with the punches and braving whatever lies ahead.

I know about heroes. I live with one. If you want to read about Sandy and our amazing love story, scroll down the right margin of my blog to “Categories” and look for “Sandy” in the drop-down menu. Our story is well documented and you’ll get the picture. It’ll make you mist over too.

So…hat tips to the families, the wives, the moms and dads…of all who suffer…

…oh, and to the Emily’s (whose athletic sixteen year old brother became a quad a few months ago and ministers to him as tenderly as if she were his own mother).

From where I sit? You guys are the true heroes. Bless you.

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