There's so much to be learned from those who have lost so much. We find strength in seeing how someone wins their battle against cancer. We applaud those labeled handicapped who, against all odds, not only run the race but win it. We love the stories of the all too young or much too old who do the seemingly impossible.
This might not rank up there with one of those awe-inspiring stories, but it awakened in me the spirit to keep on trying just when I needed it.
I was visiting a friend who works at a medical center just outside of town. He had asked me to get involved with a fundraising project for equipment they needed. I came to tell him I couldn't do any more than I did last year. I just didn't have the time. 
We had been sitting in the waiting area just down the hall from one of the therapy rooms.  After talking for a few minutes, he was called away.
"This might take some time," he said. "Think about getting more involved. I'll be right back."
"Well, I just don't think I can," I replied as he walked away.
Off in the distance I could hear music playing. My curiosity brought me to the doorway of what appeared to be an exercise room.
"Excuse us!" I heard from around the corner.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" I said as I stepped back into the hall.
"We've got a train here," the voice repeated, "Excuse us!"
Sure enough, five or six wheel chairs and one bed came rolling out. Each one commandeered by a hospital aide and occupied by smiling patients.
"Looks like you had fun," I said to one in passing.
"We're trying!" an older man replied.
When it appeared to be safe, I slowly made my way into the room. There were floor mats, platforms, small hand weights and exercise balls scattered throughout.
Thinking I was alone, I was startled when I heard someone say, "Is she gone?"
"Oh, I'm sorry I didn't see you there," I said.  I looked to my right and saw a man peering at me from behind some equipment.
"Is she gone?"
"Is who gone?" I asked.
"The drill sergeant!" the young man replied. "She said she'd be back for me. She wanted me to keep exercising, but I can't. She pushes too hard."
Then out of nowhere I heard someone say, "You could do more!"
We both looked around and couldn't find where the voice was coming from. Then from around the corner in the far left side of the room a man appeared. "I said you could do more," he repeated.
The deep, resounding voice presented itself as a voice of authority. The stature of the man backed it up. He was of average height but broad in the shoulders, with a muscular build.
"That's easy for you to say," the young man told him.
"Oh, is it?" the man said, and then walking toward the younger man, he said, "Nothing
worthwhile is easy."
The young man still lying on the floor mat turned toward me and said, "Sir, could help me up?"
My view of him had been partially blocked by a stack of foam blocks. I responded, "Sure, I'll give you a hand."  As I came closer to him, I choked on my words.
He had no hands. His arms were tightly bandaged and covered at the elbow.
"Oh, I'm sorry..." I began to stammer.
"You could do more," the other man repeated. I backed off as he took a stance right over the young man on the mat.
"I can't do more!" the young man shouted. "Look at me!" He raised both arms above him.
Then, in a moment I will never forget, the man standing over him appeared to reach down to help him, but instead raised both legs of his trousers. He was standing on two stainless steel prostheses.
"You could do more," he repeated, now in a softer, reassuring tone.
I quietly retreated from the room. As I neared the doorway, I could hear them both talking about their challenges.
Soon my friend returned. "Okay, now what were you saying? You were a great help to me last year. I'm counting on you," he said.
Glancing back at the exercise room, I turned to him and said, "I could do more."
My experience that day has me taking inventory of my own life. There is
so much more I could be doing.
more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad