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  • Avery Garn

Thin Veils

So the last will be first, and the first will be last. Matthew 20:16

We were told upon arrival at Hope Heals Camp that the veil is thin here, and thin it was.

During the Camp Spa Day, I spoke to one woman who suffered a stroke at 28. As we commiserated over the frustrations of physical therapy and hearing loss and one-sided weakness, I expressed my insecurity in my new appearance, in my facial paralysis. She looked at me, shrugged, and said matter-of-factly, ”Maybe your face is weak, but my whole body is weak."

I was the recipient of this reality check almost hourly at the Shepherd Center, where I was surrounded by pureed dinners and nonverbal communication. But it’s easy to slip back into frustration at my own slow healing without these daily reminders.

One Sunday last summer at Shepherd, a mother of a patient hosted a dance party. When my nurse told me about the “party”, I made a point to be unavailable during the designated hour. I couldn’t imagine anything more depressing than a bunch of people trying to dance in wheelchairs.

But I suppose the irony is that we all have wheelchairs, albeit maybe invisible ones.

We are all disabled. None of us have unlimited access to whatever we want or whatever we planned for our lives to look like. We are constrained by our marriages or our singleness, by our children or our childlessness, by our obligations or our debts, by obstacles real or imagined. No one enters life or leaves it without feeling bound by something. Some of us have physical wheelchairs, but we all have invisible wheelchairs inside us. -- Suffer Strong

I was invited to my second wheelchair-dance party while at camp, but this time the veil was lifted, and I could see the beauty that far outweighed any earthly disability.

Clint and I have been living with a different kind of thin veil, but one no less revealing of our Father’s love for us. And in this season that is measured in weeks and waistlines and waiting, we anticipate the arrival of a new life in November and more reason to dance, wheelchair or not.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12



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