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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

April 12, 2011 - Presence

By Scott Harrup

Connor’s cerebral palsy causes his muscles to flex against his will, drawing in his left arm and forcing his legs to bend at the knees. The remedy, at least temporarily, is periodic Botox injections to partially paralyze the nerve endings that carry the erroneous “flex” command from his brain.

To further promote the shots’ effect, Connor needs to sleep with plastic frames that hold his legs as straight as possible overnight. He loathes them. It’s a pretty long process to get him to calm down after putting him to bed with them on. He’ll lie quietly for perhaps 20 minutes, and then begin to cry and bellow “No!” at the top of his lungs. (In a bit of child-rearing irony, one of the first words Connor learned even within his limited vocabulary was “No!”)

I do a little song and dance where I putter around the house at random tasks, let him cry awhile, then walk back into his room and try to coax him to accept his prone predicament and go to sleep. When coaxing fails, I put on my best “daddy” voice and issue Mosaic commands. Neither method works for more than a few minutes. If I’m lucky, he tires himself out by 10 or 10:30 p.m.

When Connor seemed absolutely bent on raising the rafters last night, I tried a different tack. Since he automatically quiets down every time I come into his room, I wondered what would happen if I just stayed with him. With a long reading assignment overdue, I came in with my book, crawled up on his bed next to him, and began to read while holding his more flexible right hand.

Utter calm. He became so quiet, I was sure he was asleep. I kept reading. Finally, I glanced down. He was lying there, eyes wide open, silently looking up at me. He wasn’t smiling, just lying there in complete serenity.

If he could speak in sentences, I was convinced he’d say something like, “Wow, Dad, this is really great just getting to spend some time with you. And, come to think of it, these leg braces aren’t nearly as uncomfortable as they were five minutes ago ...”

A few pages later, I looked down again. He was sleeping. He never made a sound as I got up, turned off the light and slipped out. He slept through the night.

Scripture is replete with father/child imagery describing God’s love for us. Jesus’ own best-known prayer begins, “Our Father.” Christ invites each of us to relate to the Heavenly Father as personally as He does.

Connor can’t understand why I strap his legs into those braces. I can’t understand why I have to endure painful circumstances. Connor took comfort in my temporary presence; I’m reminded there is nothing temporary about the Heavenly Father’s presence in my life.

And when I take hold of that truth ... utter serenity.

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (



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