There are injuries that make you cry when they happen and laugh as soon as the pain is over, injuries that out of necessity open the door to new opportunities, and there are injuries that cause you to question everything you know.

In the last month, we’ve seen all three.

The first was Amanda’s run-in with a tree.  It was more of a fly-in, actually – since she was on a backyard zipline at the time.  In her defense, it was already getting dark when we started (my fault, not hers), and she really didn’t see the tree that so suddenly caught her big toe mid-flight.


Her whole foot was swollen instantly, and within a few days had turned all the colors of the rainbow.  In the end, we (I) concluded that if you’re going to hobble around for a few weeks, you might as well have a good story to go with it.  Amanda, of course, says it would be better not to hobble around at all.

Next was my foot.  The long and short is that someone with cleats landed on my barefooted foot whilst playing frisbee.  My foot looked like a small balloon was trying to get out of it, and I had to watch the rest of the game from the sideline.


The good news was that I met a new friend who gave me just the encouragement I needed for the week, and I had a chance to catch up with an old friend who I would have never had a chance to talk with so meaningfully otherwise.  At the end of the afternoon, I found myself thanking God for letting my foot explode.

And then, just last week, this.


A fellow missionary and friend we were just getting to know nearly lost his life in a motorcycle accident not far from Ukarumpa.  The fact that he is still living is truly miraculous, as he lost nearly all of his blood in the aftermath of the crash.  Now they’ve amputated his leg from above the knee.  He’d come to Ukarumpa as a pilot and was beginning what seemed to be a very promising next stage of his life.  Now the entire family’s future is – it seems – thrown into chaos, his planned ministry put on standstill, and questions are being raised without any good answers.

“We were promised sufferings,” writes C.S. Lewis, “They were part of the program. We were even told, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and I accept it. I’ve got nothing that I hadn’t bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not imagination.” 

I like to believe that one day our friend Jon will be able – at the end of this season of his life, maybe – to find himself thanking God for letting his leg go.  But how can I say that?  How can I even hope it?  The very thought is outlandish.

And while I still ask, “What’s the point of all this unravelling?” I raise a toast to our outlandish God.

3 thoughts on “Injuries

  1. thank you for reminding me to thank God (even for “all this unravelling”) and for the opportunity to pray for Jon (and your feet.) When you get back to town please pencil in a breakfast, lunch or dinner with us (our treat.) Much love,

  2. Alan…After reading this blog entry, I am reminded of this phrase: That which does not kill us makes us stronger. This axiom has been bantered around like a ping pong ball for as long as I can remember but it IS true. Quite a lot has happened to me in the last 7 years. God has pulled me from the brink of death TWICE in that time period and I can honestly say that ALL the experiences associated with these events, good and bad, have changed me…have made me a stronger person. A different person, Alan. And several times, I have sat back and thought, “God isn’t testing me…he’s equipping me.” Many times since all of this happened have I had the opportunity to help others with my knowledge, comfort them by the mere fact that I am, by the grace of God, STILL HERE!! God’s plan for each of us is as unique as we are. He and ONLY He knows the full extent of His plan. Yes…in many ways I AM thankful for what I have had to endure for these trials have given me knowledge, strength of spirit and desire to help others and witness God’s greatness in my life. Even though these illnesses and their far-reaching secondary issues may very well shorten my life, I believe the time I have left will be sweeter, more productive and certainly more meaningful BECASUSE of these things, not in spite of them. ~ Love and prayers to you, Amanda and your dear friend, Jon. ~ Aunt Cindie ~

  3. Love that sweet picture of the Leedahls. Thanks for posting it – glad to have found their blog. Appreciate this post!


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