We've all read or heard them… those special stories that somehow leave an indelible mark on our souls. We've read them in newspapers, magazines, online and yes, in books. Some have been verbally passed down through generations, shared by those who've come before us. Sometimes we're fortunate to have heard or read more than one.
As an author, I've luckily been on the receiving end of some phenomenal stories shared by readers, like the grandmother who sent me a letter and a photo of her hearing-impaired grandson after reading my first book, Cowboy For Keeps, that featured a single mother with a profoundly deaf daughter. And I'll never forget the young woman who sent me poetry she'd written about how she survived domestic violence after reading His Sheltering Arms, a book centered around a women's shelter. I still have those letters and a few others, and I'm still moved by each and every one.
But long before I ever considered writing a book, one particular story from my childhood stays with me still, even after the passage of time. A moving story of acceptance delivered by a soft-spoken pastor on a long-ago Sunday morning. I believe I must have been at least ten years old when I heard it, otherwise I would have been in the children's playroom drinking Kool-Aid and coloring, not sitting in the sanctuary for the grown-up service. I can't recall the exact date or even the time of year, but I do recall the reverend's message in detail.
He spoke of a couple who wanted a child more than anything, and after many, many years of waiting, they were finally blessed. When it came time for the birth, the mother, who was put into "Twilight Sleep" during delivery, initially remained unaware that her precious baby girl had been born with a defective arm—"withered" the reverend called it. The father, deeply concerned over his wife's reaction to their daughter's imperfections, summoned my pastor to the hospital for support.
As soon as the wife came fully awake, she immediately asked for her baby, so the nurses brought the completely swaddled infant into the room and laid the little girl in her mother's awaiting arms. And as most mother's will do, the woman immediately began to unwrap her daughter's blanket while the fearful father and sympathetic clergyman looked on, worried and wondering. As it turned out, they had no reason to worry. After studying her baby from head to toe, the new mother smiled up at her husband and simply said, "God made her to need us as much as we need her."
If you have a story that's personally moved you, please feel free to share it here. You never know when that story could change someone else's life.