The arthritis in my knees, especially the left one, has finally caught up with me to the point that my walker is no longer enough assistance. For years after I had a stroke, I used a motorized scooter to get around. I still used a scooter occasionally in the next two decades if I was walking long distances or over rough surfaces, but the last time I used the scooter—a little over a year ago—it died. I figured it was just old and worn out.
However, after realizing I needed more help than a walker, I asked the doctor about a wheelchair or a scooter. He explained that Medicare would probably cover a wheelchair, but Medicare is reluctant to approve scooters. I decided to have my old scooter checked out. Amazingly, all it needed was replacement batteries, and I expect to have it back from the shop next week. In the meantime, the repair shop provided a loaner, which I used for church this morning.
I was reminded of the time I transitioned from the wheelchair to the scooter after the stroke. I told that story in my devotional book, Finding God in the Everyday.
Here is the devotional about that experience.
After my stroke, I had to use a wheelchair most of the time. Although I could maneuver short distances, I wasn’t strong enough to get around in the wheelchair on my own for any distance. To be able to return to work, I hired a young man to push me whenever I visited clients or attended meetings. When I was in the office, he worked in the warehouse.
The people I encountered in elevators and other public places ignored me and spoke to my helper. I could communicate as well as or better than my helper, but people directed their words to him. They seemed to think that because my body didn’t work well, my mind didn’t either. Or maybe it was simply that it was easier to talk to him because he stood at eye level, and they had to look down to speak to me. Whatever the reason, I didn’t like it.
Then I got a motorized scooter. With a lift in my van to load and unload the scooter, I could get around on my own. I was thrilled to be independent again.
I didn’t expect that people would treat me differently, but suddenly, people started talking to me. They joked around and teased me about speeding or running over their feet. I was exactly the same person driving myself around on my scooter as I had been the day before being pushed in a wheelchair, but I was perceived and responded to in a completely different way.
The Bible tells us that God doesn’t look at us as other people do. He didn’t ignore me when I was being pushed in a wheelchair. He loved me and treated me just the same as when I was on the scooter and when I was standing on my feet before the stroke. We don’t have to worry about what we look like—we just need to fill our heart with love for Him.
God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. ~ 1 Samuel 16:7
Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you; and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints. ~ 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
Thank You, Father God, that You don’t judge by outward appearances or worldly accomplishments. Purify my heart and fill it with love for You and others. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
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