Monday, February 23, 2015

Who's in the Wheelchair?

I first saw this video of Team Hoyt and their father-son triathlete in 2008. It left an indelible impression on my mind so strong that when I came across the following paragraph on my computer tonight, I knew immediately the image I had in mind when I wrote--and had to go watch their inspirational story again.

I remember Dave, frustrated with Lyme disease, identifying with Rick in the wheelchair. I longed to be like the father, to have something I could work hard at and do that could make Dave feel free. In many ways, that desire kept me writing my book. And yet, I found that I too identified with Rick--and saw much of the father in Dave, to his surprise:

I know you see yourself in the wheelchair, and get frustrated at what you cannot do.  But I see you behind the wheelchair, running—and I am in the chair.  I don’t know how to run with compassion but you drive me there.  I don’t know how to swim the waters of selfless love—I drown in my flailing attempts—but with the Lord you carry me in your arms and lay me in the boat, and you swim and strain and pull me along.  I can’t balance on the wheels of caring for others but that you pedal for me, the wind joyously whipping through my hair at the speed—for you have time to stop, to look, to listen, to see the needs, and the desire that aches to meet them, and the hands and heart to reach out—while we with our rushing about to “live life” are truly in the chair, and you are running.  And if at times the going is very hard for you, it’s because you are pulling me too.