In the early days of my life with a spinal cord injury, a friend from our church visited our home while Earl was feeding me. She didn’t greet me but asked, “Oh Earl, can I feed her?”
Earl looked at my flushed face and saw tears drop from my bowed head to my lap. I was a baby. A cripple. An invalid. Humiliated and unable to take another bite I wheeled to my bedroom.
After that, when offered a cool glass of water I would respond, “I’m OK. Earl will be here in a few minutes.”
“Can I get that for you?”
“Earl will get it.”
“Are you hungry?”
“Earl will get me something when he gets back.”
Earl encouraged me, “Berta, you need to let others help you sometimes.”
After months in rehab learning to do things for myself and trusting people around me, I had let that one statement steal my self-esteem.
Once I allowed my friends to help me, I found a new purpose in my life. I made a list of telephone numbers of women in our church that couldn’t always come to services. Each morning I prayed over my list and asked God to bless them in whatever struggle they were in. Then I picked one number to call. I had no idea what we would talk about once they answered, but I dialed their numbers anyway.
In the beginning, my calls surprised the women. They surprised me too. However, God had a plan.
There were women on my list that I never met face to face. I finally met Callie after two years of telephone ministry. Some women were young. Some were old. All needed Christian love, acceptance and encouragement—just like me. Over time, our relationships grew into a sisterhood of believers in Jesus that I‘d cherish forever.
Accepting the gifts of servants healed my crippled spirit.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:13,14 NIV).
In Christ Alone,