I am writing a somewhat different blog today because I am going to talk about a young lady who has inspired me in so many ways…just by being who she is. Her name is Hannah, and she is in the hospital right now battling Pneumonia.
I have known Hannah for several years, but have only spoken to her twice in passing. But I have observed her…and frankly, she has had as much of an impact on my life as anybody I have known.
I am the Men’s Ministry Leader at my church, which is a wonderful job…but like all things gets tiring some days. I am blessed to be able to serve an AMAZING cadre of men…but sometimes you just get tired.
So I am walking out of church on this beautiful 75 degree fall day that was just stunning. But I was almost too busy grumbling with myself to notice until I saw Hannah. She was sitting at the kids playground and laughing and smiling at the kids as they were running around like crazy….like kids do. But the reason why it hit me hard is that Hannah is in a wheelchair, and suffers from a condition that will prevent her from running and playing for the rest of her life. But she was completely joyful and laughing hysterically that those kids were able to enjoy that playground. I fought hard to keep the tears back as I walked home, but was changed and inspired by somebody who didn’t even know that she was having that effect on me.
I’ve actually watched Hannah for years. A few years back, the men put on a “Women’s Appreciation Dinner” just to let them all know how much we appreciated the godly women that we have at our church. And from the podium I saw Hannah…and her natural beauty and appreciation for life made her the loveliest woman in the room….so much so, that I had to write her a note and tell her how much I appreciated her being there.
I watch her in church sometimes working hard to flip the pages of her bible to keep up with the Pastor during his sermon. And while I am “hearing” about a joyful life…she is living it. She also works in our “Rainbow Room” which is the Sunday School class for some of the kids who have special needs. And I hear that Hannah is wonderful with all of the kids…and is a great role model for them. I can imagine that is correct, because she always has a smile on her face, and is excited to sing and worship our Lord and Savior. I am going to take a few pages out of the Hannah playbook…and start living like she does instead of grumbling about my circumstances.
And someday I hope Hannah reads this…because if there is anybody at church that has been blessed by our Men’s Ministry program, or by any small contribution that I have made…it is because even though I have wanted to quit many times…Hannah wouldn’t let me. I mean, how can you quit when she won’t????
I met Joni Eareckson Tada at the Pentagon one day…and if you don’t know that name… Google her and you will find someone who really exemplifies what the apostle Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. By the way, Joni is one of the most beautiful and delightful women that I have ever met…and she really is a wonderful example of a joyful life.
What Joni does for the world is what Hannah does for me at our church. Thanks Hannah for all you do for us at Burke Community Church…you are my hero. I will continue to pray that you get better quickly. God is very pleased with you young lady, and He has many crowns stored up for you in Heaven.
One of your biggest fans! AND, your Brother in Christ, Dan