At 32 years old, Chris is a Lead Electrician for a major agricultural firm in California’s central valley. Just a few weeks ago, while safely and carefully performing tasks related to his position, he fell through the roof of a building 20+ feet to a concrete floor. Conscious and with no visible injuries, Chris knew he was in trouble. He and his wife soon learned he would need surgery … and that the bruising and the broken vertebrae, along with the swelling in his spinal cord would – at least for now – prevent him from using his hands and legs, and leave him with constant nerve pain from the chest down.
Now (and we pray temporarily) a quadriplegic and at a world-reknown rehabilitation center for such injuries, we visited Chris and his wife. With friends praying with us to love on them well, we hoped to be an encouragement. However, the tables turned. As we left our last dinner together, his wife remembered that Chris wanted to Facetime with us. How remarkable, I thought, given he’d had a second surgery earlier that day. The purpose? Chris wanted to send greetings to us from his parents and to say thank you for the principles he’d learned in a shepherding workshop a few years ago. He wanted us to know that those principles had helped him lead his team at work and, that little by little, we’re making a difference by what we do. Incredibly overwhelmed by his comment, I was reminded that his accident, most importantly, left him with a reminder that nothing of value should be left unsaid, nothing should stand in the way of relationships with others, and that nothing should be put off until tomorrow. And the shepherding principles had impacted him in such a way he wanted to ensure that we knew.