Truly getting to know someone

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 4, 2013

One of the most exciting experiences in life is building relationships. Sometimes we know people for years and can identify them but not really get to know them.  
I’ve been attending early morning Bible sharing men’s meetings since 1988. Since then, I’ve been blessed to have established personal relationships with men I just knew casually.  
Last Friday at the men’s meeting, Dave, who has been coming regularly for a few months, shared what changed his life.  
When he was 18, a motorcycle accident in Ontario, Canada, in 1978, severely damaged his left leg. The doctors at the hospital hoped it could mend with a cast and then a brace. After one-and-a-half years, they had to operate.  
The injury was
a decision maker for Dave. The
doctors told him that he would
have to get an
education because he wouldn’t be able to do manual labor. At the time, he was an on-campus resident living in a three-story building at the University of Waterloo. The bottom floor was reserved for those with a physical handicap.  
At the meeting, Dave said, smiling, that they called it the “Crip House” because it housed some of us who were crippled. It was then that he said, “I had an attitude change. Instead of feeling sorry for myself and enjoying my ‘pity party,’ I realized that some people had much bigger struggles in life to overcome.” One of the students had been in a motorcycle accident and lost his leg. Another was a quadriplegic who had to depend on others and was bound to a wheelchair.  
Dave shared that even with those situations, what got his attention more than their physical condition was their attitude. They were all more positive than him.  
He graduated with a dual degree in chemistry and biology and a minor in computer science.  
He is employed with a chemical company and is a senior process automation and control engineer. He is a single parent with a son who also attends our Friday meetings and is a ninth-grade student in high school.
I’ve talked to Dave a few times, but it wasn’t until he gave a seven-minute testimony that I really got to know his heart. It reminds me of an old Indian proverb: I was angry because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet.”
If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477, or email