“He began to teach them that the Son of Man had to suffer much, be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be put to death, and rise three days later.” Mark 8:31
When Glenn Cunningham was just a boy, he was in a devastating fire at his school. Doctors told his mother that he would probably not survive due to the way his lower body was ravaged by the fire. Even if he were to live, they informed her he would be crippled throughout his life. But Glenn knew he could do more.
To the amazement of his doctors, he did survive. Unfortunately, the doctors were right about his legs –from his waist down, he could not move. What was left of his legs dangled lifeless. When he was finally able to leave the hospital, his will to live and walk again had never been stronger. At home he was told he would spend his life in a wheelchair. But he knew he could do more.
One day he threw himself from the wheelchair and pulled himself across the grass, his legs trailing behind him. He reached the fence, raised himself up and then began dragging himself along the fence. He did this every day, vowing that one day he would walk again.
In time, he could first stand on his own, and then, step by step, he learned to walk all over again. But he knew he could do more.
Glenn soon would walk to school every day. Then he would walk faster and faster until he could run. Every day after that, he ran home. He loved the feeling of running. Only a few years later, Glenn would make it on his college track team. But he knew he could do more.
In February 1934, in New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden, Glenn Cunningham –the very same boy who was not expected to survive, who would surely never walk, who could never hope to run – this determined young man ran the world’s fastest mile.
Easter season is the perfect time to remember stories like Glenn’s –stories that show the bright light that can sometimes come out of darkness. We know there would never have been the joy of Easter Sunday without the pain of Good Friday.
But Good Fridays are hard. And when they happen to us, it is easier to lie down and not get up. But to arrive to the joy of Easter Sunday, we need to remember we must get up – and run straight to Jesus.
Watering the Seeds
Describe a “Good Friday time” in your life.
Can you see the “Easter Sunday time” that came out of it all?