For a moment…a pretty lengthy moment…I’m not in Leander, Texas this morning. Rather. I’m in West Berlin, Germany in September of 1971, listening to a lecture on biblical interpretation in Deutsch. I was part of a group of 15 United Church of Christ and United Church of Canada clergy, visiting both West and East Germany churches, visiting with clergy and laity. I remember one Saturday listening to the Boys’ Choir at St. Thomas Kirke in Leipzig, East Germany, where Bach is buried.
This remembered moment, though, listening to the lecture, the man next to me asked me to wind his watch. He didn’t hand it to me. He footed it to me. Trying to be casual, I took the watch from Harold Wilke’s ankle, wound it and placed it back. I put it on backwards! He smiled, I winced. And made the correction.
Harold Wilke, God rest his soul. Was born without arms. That never held him from life and living and growing and caring. He learned to eat with his feet, was brighter than bright, and NEVER made a point of his not having arms. I so admired him. And thought, “How can I complain? Look what he’s done. Up to me to do what I can with the gifts God has blessed me with.”
In reading the linked below I thought of Harold this morning. I’m sorry at my lack of computer skill, so there’s an X-Box ad before the narrative. The link is about a quadriplegic who lives not only for himself, his wife and daughter, but has made it possible for wounded warriors to recover from devastating injuries.
On this day, Saturday, June 17, 2017, as I begin a new year of life, I hope, pray and trust that my own life has confidence well short of arrogance and that hubris never takes control. May God help me so that I’m not holding back. Hopefully, the prayer for your own self is no less. God be with us all.