Today’s wisdom is from Army Staff Sargent Christopher Walker– but first my little story:
On October 11, I was in Washington DC on my way to dinner when I fell and broke my pinky finger. My wound and its wrappings were no small thing: I couldn’t write, shower, put on make-up, and on and on. A month later, my little pinky finger is still swollen, misshapen and sore. I just said, “Ouch after hitting it on the elevator door.” When I joined my husband for breakfast, he had been reading USA Today; so, I asked what’s in the news? He pointed to the cover story which was about the horrific injuries that some of our service members have to cope with as a result of IED’s in Afghanistan. The picture showed Army Staff Sargent Christopher Walker, age 28, a bomb technician, who was wounded in Afghanistan. He lost both arms and his left leg.
I didn’t want to read the article because I just couldn’t stand to hear about horrific injuries inflicted on our young service people. I just do not want to hear about all these terrible sufferings. It is difficult to stay in my little rainbow world if I watch movies like “Schindler’s List,” or “Taken,” or read about slave and sex trafficking of young girls. I don’t want to “know,” because when I “know” as a human being, as a Christian, don’t I have to “do something?”
But it is my responsibility to know….
I decided to read the entire article and now I will do something. I will share one Wounded Warrior’s story: (from USA Today, November 15, 2012).
As I said, Christopher Walker is 28 years old and lost both arms and his left leg.
Doctors’ say, “The physical destruction when a service member steps on an IED is immense: shattered bones and flesh, sexual organs and rectums torn or ripped away, eardrums ruptured, limbs to the shoulder or pelvis cut away, infectious bacteria and fungus propelled deep into body tissues.”
Now, Christopher’s days are filled with what his occupational therapist calls, “the skills of the job of living.”
Christopher explains, “The normal things you do: wake up in the morning, go to the bathroom, shower, get dressed, get yourself ready, grab something to eat and head out for the day. It’s just normal, self-sufficient, everyday life. It’s pretty much where I’m trying to get back to.” He’s wearing a t-shirt printed with the phrase, “Wounded Warrior (some assembly required)”.
Christopher is learning to walk on an artificial leg and use computerized prosthetic arms, devices that read his muscle impulses. “It’s like starting over. Like an infant, you’ve got to learn to use your hands, artificial hands, again. The other day, I practiced using a knife and fork, slicing putty in a dish.”
“There are days that are horrible,” he says candidly. “It can be just…getting a can out of the refrigerator. You’ve done it a hundred times; but, that day you drop three in a row.”
“Some days things go well. Some days things don’t. You just got to keep going,” he says. “It’s complicated. But I’m happy I’m alive. I have a wife. I have a daughter. And…I didn’t want to die.”
Back to my story…Suddenly, my little crooked pinky finger is “no big deal.” My list of other annoyances has vanished! Today, I have learned some wisdom from Army Staff Sargent Christopher Walker. Today, I am passing on this information to you. What will we do about our wounded warriors? We can pray for them.
Help us Lord to care enough to do something. Amen.
Wounded Warrior Project: http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
Team Rubicon: http://teamrubiconusa.org/