At harvest time, Sam had to be out reaping in the fields. Since his older brother died in an accident, Sam needed to provide for not only his own family with a 4 and a 6 year-old girl, but also his aging parents. But in 2006 a slip and a three-metre fall changed his life.
The fall left Sam paralyzed from the waist down. He tried all kinds of cures; Western medicine, Chinese medicine and acupuncture. He and his family had many days of frustration, hopelessness, grief, and despair. In the end, he remained in a wheelchair. I heard that he rarely left his home as the roads around his house were not paved.
‘You visited me’
But a Christian couple heard about Sam and often visited him in hospital. They couldn’t bring physical healing, but shared the hope in Christ that they knew. They journeyed with Sam, prayed with him, encouraged his faith, and showed the family unconditional love. Sam thought he would never walk again, but he fixed his eyes on the unseen and his faith kept him going. God’s grace sustained him, so he was smiling even when his family couldn’t.
Of course, when Sam stood up and walked for the first time in 10 years, everyone was smiling. His wife smiled for the first time in a long time. His mother and father, two teenage daughters and myself were all beaming as well.
How was this possible?
As an orthotist, I was able to make leg braces for him. These orthoses stabilised his feet and knees so that, though he cannot use his leg muscles, Sam could use his residual hip muscles to stand up. Then using his hips and stomach, Sam can propel his legs forward in the braces and was able to walk around.
It takes lot of energy for Sam to stand and move around like this, but it is good for his physical health and helps psychologically as well.
Restoration: ‘Dad, I never knew you were that tall!’
Sam’s youngest daughter was only four when the accident happened. For as long as she could remember Dad had always sat in his wheelchair. . As a child, I imagine that she sat on Dad’s lap often. As she got older, she was soon standing above her Dad. I imagine she might have wheeled Daddy’s wheelchair when needed, helped Dad get things off the top shelves of the bookcase, or helped Dad find missing socks or changed the light bulbs. While Mom, Grandma and Grandpa worked in the fields, I imagine she and her sister had to cook meals for him. Dad was always home when she left or returned from school. This Saturday something new happened. Dad was standing. Dad was walking. And as she noticed for the first time.
“Dad, I never knew you are that tall.”
Indeed. We are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation. Today a daughter saw her father in the towering protection and love that he wants to provide.
Will you pray for China?
- Give thanks for Brother Sam’s testimony of God’s grace in the face of adversity.
- Pray for Sam’s testimony to encourage others.