I Need Help! | from Diane

by Elouise


It’s November 1994, well over a year before Diane knows she has ALS. As a polio survivor, she demonstrates every day that she can do things others think she cannot. Her list of accomplishments is long. Yet nothing is so difficult as the challenge she now faces. Here’s how she talks about it in this children’s sermon.

6 Nov 1994
See this thing on my wrist? [Velcro support band] Does that make me look athletic?

Actually, I have a problem with my arm and my hand that’s making them pretty weak. The doctor thought this might help me use my hand a little better, so I don’t hurt my wrist so much.

This Velcro wristband reminds me of two things I want to tell you about today.

The first reminder is I need lots of help!
My family and friends might say I’m a fairly independent person. Some might even say stubbornly independent! I don’t know if I agree with that part, but I do like to do things for myself.

So this wrist brace reminds me that I can’t do everything for myself, nor should I try. In fact, I’ve had to start asking for help with things that maybe you ask help for.

Do some of you ever need help tying your shoes? Or cutting your meat?

Sometimes I have to ask for that kind of help now. In fact, I told my husband not to get too far away from me this morning in case I need help getting up! [Diane is sitting on the platform steps with the children.]  He’s ready, and I think we’re cool. But just in case. . . !

Even if I had the strongest arms, the strongest hands and the healthiest body that ever lived, I’d still need help. I’d need help with how I think and how I feel about things.

This morning we prayed for a lot of people who had somebody in their family die. I know if that happened to me, I would need help with how I felt about it. I also need help making choices to do the right thing, especially when I might like to do something else.

I used to think that when I grew up it’d be easier to choose to do the right thing. But I’ve decided that if you don’t practice doing the right thing all your life, it just gets easier to do the wrong thing. So I need help deciding to do the right thing, and doing it.

I need help from people, and I need God’s help, too. This brace reminds me of that.

Here’s the second reminder.
The people who love me want to help me. When I need help and ask for it, I’m not being lazy! I ask because I really need help! And the people who love me want to help me.

Right now a friend is sewing more Velcro on my sleeves so I don’t have to come to work each morning and ask my secretary to button my cuffs. My secretary is happy to help me, but she’ll be even happier when I have more Velcro on my sleeves.

God is the same way. When I talk to God about the help I need with the way I think or feel, or the choices I need to make, God doesn’t get angry or disgusted with me! God is eager to help me, and just waiting for me to ask for help. God wants to help me with all those things.

This is true for each of us, even if we don’t have to wear a wrist brace. We all need help, and the people and God who love us want to help! Let’s pray together now.

Thank you, Father, for giving us bodies that grow and develop, and for making us so that we can learn to do things for ourselves, and make choices for ourselves. Thank you too, Father, that we never get to the point where we really don’t need anybody else to help us. Thank you for making us so that we always need one another and we always need your help. I pray that as we learn to ask you for help, that you’ll help us understand better just how much you love us and how much you want to help us, every day of our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 15 August 2015
Image from aliexpress.com