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May17

Pardon Me, Girls, While I Pull Over and Cry

Posted around lunch time by Jackina Stark

Applying what is around us every day to spiritual truth is another great way to testify.

One Saturday afternoon when I has taking the girls to meet friends at the mall, they told me a story that affected me so much that I pulled the car over to the side of the road and cried. An analogy was about to explode from my heart onto my stunned daughters.

They had told me about a segment in a program called That’s Incredible that they had seen on television the night before with their dad.

The parents of a boy diagnosed as hopelessly retarded were advised to put their son in an institution. The parents refused, and in this case, the love of parents nurtured even such a severely handicapped child.

When the boy’s mother died in 1979, his father took full responsibility for him-dressing him, giving him his shots, and helping him with the smallest tasks such as crossing the street. But that wasn’t what was incredible.

What was incredible was his one, and only one, great ability—to paint. Despite the fact that he was born with cataracts inside both eyes, blocking the light and causing him to paint just a few inches from the table, he paints enough, and well enough, to have had eight one-man shows in one year alone! Some artists don’t accomplish this in a lifetime.

It takes him only three hours for a small picture and two, three or four days for larger ones. He is unbelievable at details and can remember and recreate scenes he’s seen long ago. In order to get the exact color he remembers, he often uses layers of color.

I had been thinking about priorities at the time.

That boy’s story and my somewhat illogical thought that sprang from it deeply touched me. That’s why I pulled the car over, and with tears streaming down my face, told the girls what I was thinking and feeling: “Girls, I should just pray that God would make me something like that boy. I wish he would give me one amazing ability, if I had no others—the ability to praise Him!”

I suppose that was too emotional, but for some reason the girls were not shocked or upset. God was real and our love for him real when we, sitting together in a car on a warm Saturday afternoon, desired to adore Him and never let Luke 13:34 apply to us: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

We talked about such things. And I think it made all the difference.

The girls have become mothers who testify. Stacey’s favorite Christian theme is the freedom Christ gives, and Jake was already beginning to understand that when he was only four. Stacey, who doesn’t cry often, was driving down the street, listening to Steven Curtis Chapman’s Christian song, “Free.” Jake, after asking what it was about, said, “Is this song going to make you cry, Mom?”

I believe Stacey was testifying when she said, “It might, Jake.”