Doing Much with Little
SUPPOSE you were paralyzed from the neck down, the only muscles you could move being those of your neck. Would you indulge in self-pity, despair, and long for death? Or would you realize that you could do something useful, that you could lead a rewarding, happy life and even support yourself? The latter is exactly what more than one such handicapped person has done.
Take, for example, a certain man who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. At the age of nineteen an attack of polio left him paralyzed from the neck down, a quadriplegic, that is, one not having the use of any of his four limbs. What did he do? With special instruction he learned to paint, both with a brush and with a palette knife, by holding these in his mouth. He paints from what he remembers of scenes on the coast of British Columbia where he worked until his illness. His paintings decorate government buildings, hospitals and private homes, and at present he is also teaching an art class at Vancouver City College.
He has been able to purchase a delivery van for use in transporting himself and his wheelchair wherever he wishes to go. In order to sleep comfortably he has to use a rocking bed at the hospital, which is really his home. This meant that for ever so long he could not sleep anywhere outside the hospital. So he painstakingly modified the construction of the rocking bed, redesigning it for portable use. Now he is able to stay overnight at his mother’s home and also visit other relatives living some distance away.
But what has made him truly a happy person is his coming in touch with the truth of God’s kingdom, as a result of which he has dedicated his life to God and has been baptized by total water immersion. With the aid of his wheelchair and van he is regularly able to attend the meetings of Jehovah’s witnesses. At the Kingdom Hall a fellow Christian holds his Bible for him as well as whatever Bible study aid is being used. That one also raises a hand when the quadriplegic wants to volunteer a comment. More than that, he regularly gives talks in the congregation’s Theocratic Ministry School. He is also happy for the privilege he at times has of leading his congregation in prayer.
In spite of his great handicap he zealously witnesses for Jehovah at every opportunity—to members of the hospital staff, to friends and relatives, including his sister and his two brothers. His mother is also a Witness. He makes return visits on persons interested in knowing more about the Bible and conducts a regular Bible study with another young man, the friend of a hospital patient.
He also engages in the distribution of Bible magazines on the streets; when the weather is nice you will see him on a busy corner calling the attention of passersby to the real source of his joy. Another way he engages in sharing the good news is by writing letters. These he types with the aid of a stick in his mouth. Still another way that he witnesses is by means of the telephone, when visiting at his mother’s home.
Doing much with little? Certainly that is true of this dedicated Christian witness of Jehovah. It is a strenuous schedule he has worked out for himself—supporting himself by painting four to five hours a day, attending all the congregation meetings and preparing for them and having a full share in spreading the Kingdom message to others. All of this, together with his cheerful example of faithfulness, determination and hard work, makes him a source of real encouragement to those associated with him.