Monday, January 18, 2010

Atop the Fifty Foot Platform

The image has stayed with me for the past week. Nick, perched on the platform fifty feet in the air. Watchful, expectant eyes looking up at him from the crowd below. Waiting. Anticipating. Wondering. Would this man with no arms and no legs actually dive into the small pool of water waiting for him below? The look on his face gives nothing away, but you have to wonder what thoughts must be flooding through his mind at that moment.

The past week has made me feel like the man on that perch. It started when I received an e-mail from my sister to watch a short video that she thought I might find motivating. Little did she realize at the time what the impact of watching a 20 minute video might have on my life. The man in the film was a man I had met in prison…Nick Vujicic. Born without any arms or legs, he spoke to the inmates at Taft Correctional Institution while I was there. He presented a message of hope to men who found themselves in a season of hopelessness.

When I sent my sister a message that I had met this man, she suggested I blog about that experience. As I wrote of that experience I had no idea what would transpire next. The morning after I published my blog, I received a comment from a writer who is assisting Nick in writing a book and he inquired about using my story. After thirty minutes on the phone with the author, I realized that Nick was having a greater impact on my life than I realized when I sat in a prison chapel for an hour and a half as he shared his story.

I am finding that Nick is weaving himself into my life at church as well. I’m currently part of a teaching team for our church choir Sunday school class and we are teaching from a book by Bruce Wilkinson titled, “You Were Born For This”. The book discusses how God purposes to use each of us to perform miracles during out walk on this earth. The title of the book struck me as I prepared my lesson this week as I thought about Nick. Could it be that he was born in his condition for a reason? As I briefly shared Nick’s story with my class, I could see a miracle occurring before my eyes as a sense of recognition to how each of us can be used by God registered in minds of each person in the room…me included.

And so now I find myself on that perch with Nick…looking down at that small pool fifty feet below me. Is it fear within me that is keeping there – unwilling to take the plunge? Is it lack of confidence? Is it the memory of time on the high board as a child…remembering the pain from a miscalculated dive that resulted in me landing flat on my back on the hard water below, and the embarrassment of rising to the surface of the water to the chuckles of others in the pool? Whatever the reason, I’ve found myself frozen on that platform for several years.

It has been my desire to write a book about the choices that I made that put me in prison for three years and how God has worked in my life as a result of that time in the wilderness. I know that I keep receiving nudges to move forward. Just this week, the leader of my men’s group sent me a short text asking “how goes the book?” He said he felt God laid it on his heart to ask me that question. An author, reading my last blog and wanting to include it as part of a bigger story…a coincidence? I don’t believe so. Another nudge perhaps?

Perhaps the nudges this time will lead me to leap into the unknown, willing to begin the journey of putting my story to paper. Like Nick…my story may also encourage others who have spent time wondering if their life had a purpose…if their circumstances are completely hopeless. Through Nick’s testimony and his courage to “take the leap”, I believe I’m ready.

Photos from Flickr


Deb Shucka said...

I can see your toes curled over the edge of the board and feel the forward lean of your being. If Nick is the one who can finally get you to take the plunge, I'm claiming him for my newest brother. His impact in your life and mine in these last couple of weeks is nothing short of miraculous.

Leap!!! God will guide your flight and your entry into the water. Isn't that what you'd tell me? :-)

M said...

True...but we all KNOW that I never take my own advise!!! Thanks for the words of encouragement.