Posted by: Diane | January 16, 2014

God’s Grace

I’ve been thinking of a woman named Zehra Madenli.

I “met” her when I recently read a newspaper head line, “Robbed of the ability to walk, talk and eat, writer blinks her stories.” 

I am a writer and I like reading stories about other writers’ journeys. This story touched my heart.

“Zehra Mandeli has written thousands of words; each painstakingly slow, her eyes carefully scrolling across the screen, blinking out each letter, space and punctuation mark. It is a labour of love. It is one of the few things she has left.”  Toronto Star, January 14.2014

Zehra has ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – within two years of her diagnosis, she was no longer able to walk or talk.  However, with the use of a machine that tracks her eye movements, she writes short stories and poems. She has a blog and she writes because “it’s relaxing. My mind is healthy. I see and hear but I cannot speak.”

I can’t imagine this woman’s emotional struggles but I have stopped to think about what it must be like to be so immobile, yet so creative. One day, Zehra is living a full, active life and two years later, she is confined to a wheelchair with a no cure, no treatment disease, knowing very well that without miraculous intervention, this neurodegenerative disease will kill her.

She writes love letters to her husband because she can no longer hug or kiss him.

“The treasure for my eyes, the light for my darkness, companion of my hardships.” 

It makes me weep. Zehra’s writing is a release and expression of all that is going on in her head and in her heart.

There have been many times in the past when I have looked onto someone’s else’s plight and have wondered to myself, “How does this person live like this?” whether it be life with a chronic illness, a debilitating accident, a mental illness or a devastating emotional experience but I have learned that, “God does not give grace for the imagination.” 

His grace is seldom early but never late.

His grace is richly given to a person when it’s needed – not to others looking on, wondering how that person does it.

I have been in places that have felt utterly hopeless and overwhelmingly painful but His grace has been enough. I don’t know how or why it happens…but it happens…and I pray for Zehra that she experiences this mystery of grace in the midst of such challenging and devastating circumstances.

Dr. Tim Kimmel says, “Once we finally figure out God’s grace doesn’t need proof, it just needs practice; everything changes.”

 Life is never perfectly right, often terribly wrong but His grace is sufficient.

I do not understand

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12.9 NIV

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