Written by Pam Smith
Monday, 26 November 2012 00:00
“Well, her life is over…”
I remember hearing these words from my mother after I told her that in youth group we learned about how a teenage girl had jumped into shallow water, had broken her neck, and was paralyzed from the neck down. In response to my mother’s reaction, the word ‘quadriplegic’ became the scariest word I’d ever heard and it stayed scary for a long time.
Anyone around my age and in Christian circles knew at least parts of the Joni Eareckson story. I remember thinking deeply about her circumstances and it captured my thoughts. I think it was both because Joni was the same age as my older sister and also because I couldn’t imagine my own life, ballerina/tap dancer that I was at the time, without the ability to dance. It was mind-boggling to think about.
And after a few years as the story continued, I marveled at how a history teacher/football coach named Ken Tada would be smitten and would take on all that must have come in the way of physical lifting and serving as he asked Joni to marry him. They remain an inspirational couple to me to this day.
My mother was wrong. And now many years later as Joni Eareckson Tada’s story continues, I will have the privilege this March of meeting Joni – someone whose story has never left me – here, at Biblical Seminary. Now THAT’s mind boggling!
VP for Student Advancement