Thirty years ago…December 5, 1987…I was installing some Christmas lights. I fell about nine feet from a roof and shattered three cervical vertebrae. In the blink of an eye, everything changed.
I love this picture.
It’s a lot more than just an old bald guy, his dog, and a handcycle. For me, this picture signifies everything about the crazy journey I’ve taken since my injury.
It’s the culmination (so far) of the story of Relentless Grace. It began in a rehab unit, wandered through more than a decade of anger, depression, and loneliness, and now…this.
A while back I used this slide to summarize a talk at Harvest Farm. I said, “Your experiences are either an excuse to feel sorry for yourself…or an opportunity to write a remarkable story.
“My prayer for you is that you guys see your lives up to this point as the opening chapters in a book. You get to write the rest of the story. Write something remarkable!”
One of the guys made a cool observation. “In a book, it’s mostly the ending you remember.”
Another guy said, “And the story wouldn’t be very interesting if the first part didn’t have some bad stuff.”
I laughed. “See? You guys have an unfair advantage. You spent the first part of your lives getting a head start on a good story. Now you’re preparing to write a great ending.
“The greater the obstacles, the sweeter the success.”
I guess that’s why I love the picture. I reminds me of the challenge and God’s promise that no struggle will ever be wasted.
For a long time I wouldn’t have believed that picture was possible.
Hope…changes what’s possible.