Limping Forward

Editor’s note: this story is true. Only the name of the church has been changed.

By C. L.

I walk with a limp, and consequently, the pastor fired me.

I gained this limp on the first of July, exactly one year from the day I had joined the staff of Berean Baptist Church. That first year had been a great start to my short career as a music minister. Fresh out of school, I was a good match for Berean Baptist. The congregation welcomed me warmly, the choir grew quickly, and the pastor considered me the finest music minister he’d ever worked with in his thirty-plus years of ministry.

But then came the limp. On Friday night, July 1, 1994 I broke my spine. The details involve a family reunion, an old trampoline, and the sound of shattering vertebrae in my ears that faded quickly, replaced by my own voice, mid-scream. No feeling from the waist down, but an inferno of pain engulfing all the nerves that remained online. After the spinal swelling subsided, the surgeons installed two nine-inch steel rods and fused the ruined bones together. They put me in a wheelchair and shuttled me off to rehab. The people of my church prayed and prayed. In a true season of miracle, God moved and I walked home one month after the accident. Neurological injuries can’t be overcome by hard work or willpower, and there is no medical repair for broken nerve tissue. I walk today because God’s good hand was on me.

He did leave me with a limp.

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