October 17, 2006

Next Time You Want to Complain About the Weather...

In the life of a pastor we are used to hearing tales of woe, stories of sorrow and epochs of heartache. Some are truly gut wrenching, but not just a few are complaints about the daily disappointments of life. To the one going through an experience like not getting the job applied for, or having the car they had their eye on sold out from under them, is really a trial. But candidly, sometimes pastors want to slap the person and say quit your whining for Pete’s sake and put your life in perspective.

That’s what Sadie does for me. Sadie has been at our church since she was a little child; she is now a robust teenager. She was adopted out of a horrible family situation by two parents of our church who love Christ. Sadie came into the world with several strikes against her. Not the least of which is that she was born with spina bifada.

The pronouncements every step of the way were always filled with gloom and doom. “She will have limited capabilities” “She will be wheel chair bound for life” “She won’t be able to adjust to social settings and won’t be able to have a normal child hood.” “She won’t; she can’t; she shouldn’t; it won’t be possible…on and on the “support” from the professional community went.

Sadie’s life has been filled with pain, emotional and physical; she has had more surgeries in her 16 years than ten people I know have had in their life times. If someone has a right to complain it’s Sadie.

So last Summer I’m leaving the church one Saturday morning and some kids from our youth group were out digging and raking and planting bushes around their youth center. And then I saw her. Sadie, balanced precariously between her crutches—forget a wheel chair—with shovel or rake, I’m not sure which. She was helping improve the appearance of “her” youth center. And the tears welled up in my eyes even as they are doing as I write; not out of pity for Sadie, but out of disgust with myself and the nature of my life’s complaints.

So here’s to you Sadie B. for helping me to keep looking up. And here’s to your parents who are big part of the reason you are who you are!


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