Stepping into the Darkness

"You must learn to walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness, then the light will appear and show you the way before you."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Sunday before Christmas 2014, my wife and I sat in Sunday school in the Rexburg 17th ward. Laurie had been feeling ill and asked that we go home after Sunday school. I felt I need to stay to priesthood meeting. In High Priest group, the group leader mentioned to the brethren that if anyone knew of someone who needed a cane, Brother Christensen made canes and would be happy to get a cane to anyone who needed one. The brother next to me leaned over and whispered that he would like to talk to me after the meeting.

He introduced himself and said he had a son who might benefit from a cane. The problem was, that he was 6’9” and weighed 290 pounds at 15 years of age. Finding a cane for anyone that size was impossible. He asked if I might be able to make a cane for him. He said it would be nice if he could get it for Christmas. I always love a challenge, so I said it could be done. Monday morning I took stock of what I had in the garage, and what was in storage. I had several shafts, but nothing suitable to make the handle, so Monday we were off to the hardwood store in Idaho Falls to see what they had.

 The hardwood store had just got in a shipment of 6/4 walnut. Not a size they usually carried. As I was the first to see the bundle, when they broke it open, I noticed a small plank just a couple of boards down. It was just what I needed, so we purchased it and took it home. When I got home and had a chance to really look at it, I noticed that one end was a full crotch, full of beautiful figure. I cut two handles large enough for someone this size and was excited to have such beautiful wood to work with. Laurie suggested that often with individuals who have a bilateral challenge, two canes worked better than one, so I cut two shafts to go with the handles. When they came to pick them up on Christmas eve, I showed them the small brass plaque on my cane, and asked if they would like one on these canes, so a plaque went on each cane.

The Sunday after Christmas, the Bishop asked anyone who had a good Christmas story they would like to share, to come the pulpit. To the surprise of his mother, this otherwise shy young man got up and proclaimed canes were cool. He proudly showed the canes and said they were the best Christmas ever. He then read the small plaque and said that “I’ll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord” as his favorite hymn, so the congregation sang the first verse.

I am so happy that I paid attention to the prompting that Sunday. As I reflect on the miracle that has occurred, I see the Lord’s hand as I mentioned to the High Priest Group Leader back in November, that I made canes and would be glad to share them. I find it interesting that on that Sunday before Christmas, he mentioned it, that the brother who had the need was sitting next to me, that a size of board perfect for the task arrived at the lumber yard the day before I needed it, That on one end, it had beautifully figured wood to craft the handles from, that two made sense instead of one, that I had two plaques and it all came together to bless the life of a young prospective missionary.

I have since learned that the next week, the Bishop asked this young man to speak in church about preparing for a mission. He said yes, and talked with excitement about the possibility of serving a mission. 

While we were at the MTC, we keep seeing a couple of missionaries, one in a wheel chair and the other walking the two arm braced canes. We came to sit by them one day and visited with them. It seems they are serving full time missions at the MTC. The use the internet to find and teach. They were teaching a man in New York who was being baptized that week, and they were excited. I relayed this information to the father of the young man I had made the canes for. There is a place and a way for anyone to serve who wants to.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing things happen when we listen to that still, small voice. Wonderful story.