The parts which do not look beautiful have a deeper beauty in the work they do, while the parts which look beautiful may not be at all essential to life! But God has harmonised the whole body by giving importance of function to the parts which lack apparent importance, that the body should work together as a whole with all the members in sympathetic relationship with one another. So it happens that if one member suffers all the other members suffer with it, and if one member is honoured all the members share a common joy.1 Cor 12: 24-26
"How easily we equate our purpose/meaning/usefulness with things we physically do, and how little emphasis we place on things of the spirit and acts of encouragement which require little or nothing of us physically."
Tina (in Joni Eareckson Tada's book, When God Weeps)
Not many people have heard of Mateo Sanderson. Until last week I hadn’t either. We were up in northern England to watch the Torch Relay as it weaved its way through Cumbria. Previously the weather had been glorious. But on this particular day in the small village of Garstang, the heavens chose to open. The driving rain and cold temperatures made it unpleasant to endure the wait. Still the crowds gathered three or four deep to watch a moment of history. Because of the inclement weather, the Torch was delayed ... a further twenty minutes. Umbrellas turned in on themselves, children cried to go home and strangers huddled together against the elements sharing their discomfort.
And then he came. Mateo Sanderson’s time to shine came. And the previous moments of arduous waiting were all forgotten. He passed by bearing his torch, not striding, or waving furiously to the many spectators ... but with a quiet triumph, pushed along in his wheelchair in the teeming rain.
What a sight! What a beautiful sight. Some clapped and cheered. Others waved their flags and beat their sponsor given noisemakers. But I could not. The lump in my throat prevented me from shouting and my watery eyes were not from the hard rain slapping my face.
Sometimes God slips under the radar when we least expect it. He allowed the young sports mad teenager with cerebral palsy to capture my heart. Mateo Sanderson you were honoured that day and I am glad God brought me to your small corner of the world to share your joy.
Written by Jenny Woods