Theology in the Trenches

Driven by a Joystick
Kathleen Kjolhaug
Friday, April 5, 2019
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Her life had value; anyone looking on would agree. Confined only by the mind’s eye were her limitations within the wheelchair in which she sat. Like many a teen, the hot pink Nike swoosh in contrast to the bright blue material on which it lay said it all. Resonating happy, the shoes were angled just right so she might admire them at a glance.

The platform upon which she depended was love. She received it well but then again, she didn’t have much choice. Along life’s way, someone had made a choice to bring her fragile life into this world. The only steering power she now had was that of a joystick which drove the vehicle in which she sat.

Towards the end of the service, the pastor made his way down the aisle and stopped beside her. She would be served … before any other … she would receive. As he administered communion, he served by bending low. No words were needed for that sermon.

Gurgles were heard as she responded in kind and the one kneeling beside her wiped away every tear or drool, whichever came first … or last for that matter. We know well how the gospel is to be lived out here on earth. Right to life she has, but documented well is the tender love extended to her from fellow sojourners upon this earth. Without Love, we are just clanging gongs (1 Cor. 13:1).

Quietly her caregiver sat next to her, attentive. For when we are weak, He is strong (2 Cor. 12:10). That’s how it works. Dependent upon Him for everything we are as He works through the hands and feet of others. (1 Cor. 12:27). Hands and feet around her chose to compose rather than dispose of human life proliferating the value of it. She, in return, graciously received the love of which she ate and drank.

Not only was His body offered to her, but the cup from which she drank. As the chair in which she was propped supported her ability to choose this day Whom she would serve (Joshua 24:15), she sacredly partook because after all, it was He who first chose her (John 15:16). Fill up He did so she would be able to do likewise.

Like angels, those who surrounded her stood guard. Or, was it she who watched over them? I know not.

I only know that I am grateful. I am grateful for the power that He is I Am … and thankful that I am not. To God be the glory … forever and ever … Amen.

( Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)