There is a woman who has touched the lives of many of us over the years. She is there at the back of the church when we, who carry big burdens, step in. We worry about finances, about a break-up, about a child who never calls. We wonder about what it's like to be free, to finally feel Jesus' physical arms, to know what heaven is like. We don't always want to leave this world but in the bad times, we yearn for it. We open the doors to the sanctuary, Bible in hand, sometimes with expectancy in our hearts, sometimes with doubt. And she is there. She turns and catches our eyes.
Some of us can muster the courage to smile and say hi, some walk by, ashamed of self-pity. But some are drawn in and take a moment to lean in close and talk--not just talk, but listen--"listen" to her face, her movements, the twinkle in her eye. She takes us in with a throw-her-head-back laugh. We melt. It all melts--the heaviness we came in carrying. We've met Jesus today. He loved and taught us through a woman imprisoned by four wheels.
She turned forty this week. Many grateful friends and family attended her gathering, complete with food, a lovely campfire, and a sing-along. All were riveted by the speech that was recorded and played by her computerized facilitator. She who cannot speak, spoke wisdom and hope into our souls as she shared her dreams. While we pray for job success and the comforts of life, she spoke of a day when she no longer will be frustrated. This woman who is so trapped by a handicap, pictures a home in which she will freely move without pain. She shared her excitement for that glorious day when the Lord she loves will straighten her twisted body and touch her lips so she will finally be able to sing those hymns she cherishes. Most of all, she exclaimed, "I will dance and dance and dance with Jesus." Happy Birthday, Wendy. May God grant you the desires of your heart as you continue to teach us by delighting in Him. One day in heaven, I can't wait to try and catch up to you as you run down those streets of gold!