Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan/
Image courtesy of Renjith Krishnan/

She wheeled me through the exhibits in the chair we’d borrowed from the front desk. It felt to me like a miracle: not that I was in the chair—I’d needed that a year ago when we’d first talked about going to a museum or art gallery, but I’d chosen instead not to go; not that I was being wheeled around—I’d needed that five years ago when I’d insisted on walking myself through the airports on the way home from Afghanistan though I was flown business class because I was too sick to sit up. What felt like a miracle on Saturday was that I was in the chair and wasn’t the least bit embarrassed about it. No anxiety, no shame, just gratefulness to be able to linger long enough to read the information and enjoy the exhibits. That freedom seemed like a much bigger miracle than the miracle that would have been needed for me to stand for the three hours we moved slowly through the museum.

I don’t know to what to attribute the change: my mother’s prayers? God’s deepening of my certainty of being loved just as I am? my decreasing fear of the messiness of life? I feel a bit like the newly sighted man trying to answer all the questions about how he was healed, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” One thing I do know: a year ago I shuddered to think of setting foot (or seat) in a wheelchair; on Saturday I was free.

Our God is a healing God: sometimes he heals us out of wheelchairs and sometimes into them.

There are a host of ways to pick up your bed and walk.


Related post:

When the lame walk

11 thoughts on “Healed into a wheelchair”

  1. Carolyn, this is one of the most profound things I have read in a long time. How does freedom come in the form of a wheelchair and how does joy come amidst suffering? Thank you so much for writing and for stretching always toward deeper truth and understanding.

  2. Dear Carolyn,
    Thank you for your honesty– it frees me up to declare my own inabilities at this point.It has been a rough road– and I have not been able to admit it, I just felt angry. You are allowing me to admit that right now I am not capable and weak– and it is okay, even as I want to appear otherwise.I wish I could me more like you and allow myself the freedom to be vulnerable. Please keep writing the truth to us– we desperately need it– and welcome the opportunity to have the freedom you are experiencing.

    • Dear Klara,
      Thanks so much for sharing. Yes, it is okay to be weak and incapable. It is okay to struggle with our limitations and grieve them and even be angry about them. I have those days too. I think the greatest freedom for me has come/is coming in discovering that God doesn’t condemn us for those feelings but reaches out to us in them, longing for us to come close and pour them out to him and let him hold us in them. Praying for you and with you. Much love, Carolyn

  3. This is very moving, Carolyn. God’s greatest works are often the ones he does in our hearts and attitudes. His ways are so different from ours, and when we recognize and accept that he can do even more than we could ask or think. Thank you for this reminder.

  4. I was really interested to read the post after I read the title. I think the ability to accept that circumstance is a big miracle and something I would struggle a lot with. Thank you for sharing! I feel like your blog is a prayer for me and all of us sometimes, so thanks for praying!
    I am slowly learning the limitations of my body and how to live a joyful life but it is taking a long time!

    • Dear Bonita, I love it that you sensed that my blog is a prayer for you and my other readers. It is! And I delight to see how God is at work in you. The process does take a long time—a whole lifetime (for all of us!) —but I’ve been so encouraged to be reminded lately that God always completes what He begins (Phil 1:6, I Thes 5:23-24 etc). Bless you!

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