The gift of disability wasn’t on my Christmas list. But in early October, when I tripped and broke the fifth metatarsal on my right foot, I discovered God had moved temporary disability to the top of His list for me. The gift included 1 set of crutches, 1 wheelchair, 1 walker, 1 surgery, 1 pin, 2 boots, 4 x-rays, 6 doctor appointments, 8 weeks of bearing no weight on the injured foot followed by 4 weeks of partial weight-bearing, and 12 weeks of being unable to drive.
I reluctantly unwrapped this gift of disability during the 3 excruciatingly slow months it took for my 61-year-old bone to heal. Perhaps God orchestrated this slow march to wellness because He knew it would take that long to teach these ten hidden lessons He tucked in with the gift.
10. Most handicapped bathrooms aren’t fully accessible. Doors are often too heavy to open and impossible to shut, stalls aren’t big enough, grab bars are too far away, sinks and soap can’t be reached, and hand dryers can only be accessed by wheeling to them wet-handed.
9. Strangers can be surprisingly kind. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have held open doors, shut bathroom stalls, braked so I could cross the street, and asked what else they could do. The really good news is that many of the Good Samaritans were young people. As in teenagers or young kids.
8. Online retailers make shopping accessible to people with many disabilities. Christmas shopping would have been a bust without online shopping. During our 2 forays into stores, husband and I discovered that Christmas displays and extra merchandise make many aisles inaccessible for people in wheelchairs. Thanks to free shipping at many online sites, our loved ones found our gifts under their Christmas trees on December 25.
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