One of our favorite fly-fishing guides, Joe Willauer, as we drifted the Yakima River in Washington, used to say as our bobber floated downstream near the shore, “Let it marinate, let it marinate.”
Well, this morning, having been in Tucson since last Thursday I’m way beyond marinating. I’m bubbling, dashing around emotionally like a water bug, which zooms and darts in all kinds of directions. The “why” is because I was able to spend the full time with Jessica Cox and her husband Patrick Chamberlain and her father, William Clinton Cox. [He is a hoot, but I never failed to remind him I’m the older, he being born in November of 1940 and I in June of that birth year.]
To listen to Jessica is to be inspired. To be with Jessica is to be inspired. She is a walking sermon. And in short time I never really focused upon her feet, as she drove, as she ate, as she held her sermon to preach. More on that in a bit.
Friends, if I had a wish above wishes it would be for you to meet all three of them. They give inspiration its clearest definition. Lots of nuggets; they abound and will be included in the soon-to-be written book about what it means for Bill to be a parent to an armless child. [Per Jessica’s request.]
Her mother, Inez, died less than 2 years ago, but Bill and she gave me great insights into her attitude. For instance, one key in being Jessica’s parents was not to ever, ever consider her handicapped. “Handicap” to them is profanity.
One day Inez took Jessica, age 7 at the time, to the grocery store, the only parking place a handicap sign overhead. No way. No way in the world would Inez park there. They could walk more distance. One day when Jessica was 3 days old, as Bill gave thanks to God for their new daughter—they never asked, “God, what did we do wrong?”, a lady came up to him and pointed to Jessica, obviously an infant who was armless, “Sir, is that your daughter?” Bill beamed with pride and nodded yes. She then said, “That’s great, you must be very strong parents.” That was a pivotal moment for Bill who believed, “This daughter and we will be glorious.”
More abounds, but I don’t want to provide too much. As Jessica and I visited she said how often…more than occasionally, people would negate her value. I asked her what sustained, she didn’t hesitate, “Mark, Faith was a dealbreaker.” Ah, the book title, used in an unique way Jessica affirmed, because her faith WAS and IS a dealbreaker. In the most inspirational manner. Her faith IS ultimate sustaining, no matter what.
On Sunday morning, Jessica shared in the sermon which will be shared in the book. If anyone dropped a pin, no one could hear it. How inspirational. Yep, I’m now more than marinating. I’m bubbling with enthusiasm. Even more, with gratitude for being in the presence of someone who with no doubt in the world is an angel impersonating a human being.