Pete walks with a cane, one leg twisted and weak. Nothing wrong with his inner thought processes, but he struggles to find the word to express his thought and to enunciate it so we can understand. After his stroke 4 years ago, Pete could not walk or talk at all, so he feels blessed for every inch of recovery.
I’m tired and I don’t feel like going to the men’s group tonight, but I go because I know Pete will be there. He’s always there, dragging his pain and disability with him, but without complaint, shaking left-handed mostly, but sometimes with his weak right fist. And he’s always a lot more interested in knowing about my life than telling me about his. We divide into small groups to pray and we all want to be in Pete’s group because Pete prays—out loud. He stumbles and we have to help him with some words. But he prays with such simplicity and sincerity that we want to learn from him.
That’s courage to me—to keep praying and loving and hoping no matter what happens to you, even when your body is broken and tired. Day-after-day, year-after-year, to keep on keeping on. That’s persistent hope that inspires me to love, to pray and to hope.