IF WE ARE OLD ENOUGH TO DRINK, WE ARE OLD ENOUGH TO KILL

T. PIERCE BROWN

She was happily riding her motor scooter home from school when a driver, without a license because of a previous conviction, smashed into her, knocking her body about 30 feet into the air, crushing most of her bones, and severing her spinal cord, paralyzing her from the chest down.

No, she was not just another teen-age kid out for a thrill, swerving her cycle in and out of traffic. She was a 51 year-old mature woman whose story thrills and saddens.

She was an abused child–physically and psychologically. Even her mother told her she was a no-good, worthless, unwanted child who should never have been born. So she left high school at age 15 as a sophomore to marry a poor preacher who was many years her senior. Over 30 years later he died, and she still felt worthless and unloved.

Then she met a teacher who taught her that God did not make trash. He taught her that Jesus did not die for “nobody” and that she was made in the image of God, with the privileges and obligations pertaining thereto. She accepted those facts, and as always, that sort of belief changed her life.

She began searching for other practical truths related to that concept. She discovered that the Bible answers questions about why she was here and where she came from and hints of the heights to which she could climb. She began a study of the Koine Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written. This whetted her appetite for more knowledge, so she got her high school diploma.

Her teacher challenged her to think in terms of climbing mountains, instead of fussing with molehills. Although she had no money, and scarcely any income, he helped her borrow enough money to go to college, and a motor scooter that would get up to 25 miles an hour downhill.

After studying three years of Greek in two years and graduating magna cum laude fromMotlowCommunity College, she received a scholarship fromDavidLipscombCollegeinNashville, where she intended to major in biblical languages and journalism and communication. Then when she finished her doctorate, she would teach and/or do research in those areas.

The week after she graduated from Motlow her dreams and her body were smashed by one who apparently believed, “If a man is old enough to fight and kill, he is old enough to drink.” He apparently did not realize that anyone can make up a stupid cliche about anything. “If one is able to produce children he should be allowed to be President.” “If we can put a man on the moon, we should be able to give all the people of the world $20,000 a year.”

The next week her teacher-friend held her hand in the hospital and said, “Sandra, you have climbed mountains before by doing what you can, where you are, with what you have. Now God will enable you to climb another by doing what you can’t, where you are not, with what you do not have. Peter could not walk on water, but he did! Jesus on the cross, did more for mankind than any other off the cross. So, you may be able to do more to help and inspire mankind, on this cross, or in a wheelchair as you learn and teach than you could walking around on two good legs.” She smiled and said, “With God to lead and you to hold my hand, I probably can.”

How she will pay her astronomical bills, how she will survive, how she will go back to school, she has no idea, but she actually laughed as she looked at her scarred and broken hand and said something like, “A boxer has not lost the fight as long as he keeps fighting, has he?” As she visualized herself as a little, heavy-set woman with smashed legs dancing around in a boxing ring, knocking out her opponent, whoever it might be, she laughed. I cried.

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