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Heart Wounds

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
November 15, 2022 3:30 am

Heart Wounds

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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November 15, 2022 3:30 am

At Walter Reed ArmyMedical Center years ago, I listened to a man who, although missing both legs, cracked jokes with a contagious sense of humor. The soldier’s face quickly clouded over, however, when I pointedly asked him how things were back home.

Looking down at his new prosthetic legs, he whispered, “My marriage is on the rocks, and it doesn’t look good.” The loss of his legs didn’t keep him from joking, but the wounds of his heart silenced the laughter.

In that same PT room, Gracie, walked over to a soldier missing his right leg and lying on a table working with a physical therapist. Greeting him, the soldier rudely snarled at her. The physical therapist awkwardly tried to smooth things over and told the soldier that he might want to listen to Gracie.

 

Swearing, he brusquely communicated his aversion.

 

Although stunned, Gracie quickly composed herself and, holding a nearby railing, propped her right prosthetic foot (encased in a beautiful shoe, I might add) next to his head. He'd only seen her from the waist up, but his eyes turned to witness Gracie balancing on her left prosthetic leg.

 

"You're not the only amputee in here, big guy," she said while staring at him.

 

As the two of them locked eyes, the soldier in him nodded, and they talked for a while. He shared with her that he lost his leg from friendly fire, and his resentment from being hurt by his team remained apparent.

 

Showing her own weaknesses and demonstrating the courage to overcome them, Gracie confronted someone drowning in resentment over wounds that should not have happened. In the process, they both walked further down the path of recovery.

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Hope for the Caregiver
Peter Rosenberger

As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time, and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?

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If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's caregiverlegal.com. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio. This is Peter Rosenberger, and we're so glad that you're with us. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Hey, I hope you heard the program. If you didn't hear it last week, a special Veterans Day program that we had, my interview with Fernando Arroyo. Please go out to the podcast. You can go out to the website. Wherever podcasts are distributed, it's there.

You can go out to our website. It's also there. And it is called The Shadow of Death. Please take a listen to that and share it. Share it with every veteran that you know and ask them to share it as well. It is a powerful interview. I gave him the whole hour for the program, and I hope you'll take advantage of it and go out and listen to it. Gracie and I have spent a lot of time at Walter Reed over the years and spent a lot of time with wounded warriors and their families.

And I remember one time I was talking with a guy at the PT room there at Walter Reed, and Gracie sang for the groundbreaking ceremony for the amputee training center they built. This man had both legs amputated above the knee, but he was clowning around, joking, having a good time, talking, making all kinds of wisecracks and everything else. We talked for a while, and then I asked him rather pointedly, I said, how are things at home? And that's when his face clouded over.

It just went dark. And he looked down and he had his wedding ring on and he said, I don't think we're going to make it. He was laughing and cutting jokes as a double amputee. But when you talk to him about matters of the heart, that's when it really hit him hard. So many people carry external wounds that they seem to be at peace with, but the internal wounds are destroying them. And this is something that weighs heavy on me as I try to formulate this show and speak to people, write to people, it's the matters of the heart. Yes, the wounds are devastating.

They are brutal. They, they require a long time to overcome. I remember Gracie's prosthetist told her years ago, said, look, Gracie's going to take about eight to 15 years for you to be acclimated to thinking of yourself as an amputee. It's a long process, but she has, she's done that.

He was an amputee, still is with a lot of work, with a lot of work, with a lot of adaptive equipment and support. She has overcome that and has lived a very meaningful, substantive, purpose-filled life as she's dealt with these terrible challenges of losing her legs. But the matters of the heart, that's a different story. How many people do you know who have devastating heart wounds, relationship wounds, and they can't seem to get past them? What about you?

How about you? Have you had such wounds that you can't seem to get past? And so that's the nature of what this program is all about, is speaking to the heart, because if our heart is a train wreck, everything else will, will follow suit. And we may be able to deal with some things on the external for a season, okay, but ultimately if our heart is a mess, everything else will be as well.

It's only a matter of time. And the way I've approached this is something I learned another lesson at Walter Reed with Gracie. I was watching her in two different occasions where she made herself vulnerable, but with two very dramatic results. One of them was a young Lieutenant. He was in the Marine Corps and he lost one leg above the knee and the other leg at the hip. It's called a hip disarticulation. It's the toughest prosthesis to make for lower limb amputees. And you have to build half of your backside with this, because it's all gone.

There's nothing to build a socket with. You have to kind of reform it. We've done this in Ghana. In fact, I think we, when we were over there with our team about 10 years ago, we built the first hip disarticulation I think that they'd ever done with our team. So it's a very complex prosthesis. And this young Lieutenant was sitting on one of those curved balls.

It's flat on one side, but it's curved on the top. And he sits there to balance and strengthen his core. And then he throws a weighted ball back and forth with the physical therapist while he's sitting on the workout table. And Gracie was watching this and she decided she wanted to participate in that with him. So she took off her own legs and sat on a ball just like that on the opposite table and threw this ball, the medicine ball, it's a weighted, I don't know what, eight pounds or so back and forth.

And they threw it together. It was, it's an extraordinary picture that I have of the two of them doing that, where she made herself very vulnerable and said, you know what, I'm going to participate in this with you, like you. And another time I watched her with a soldier who was working out and she went over to talk to him and he was laying down on the table. The physical therapist was at the head of it and she walked up to him, but he couldn't see that she was wearing a skirt at that time.

And he couldn't see that she was an amputee. And she went over to just to greet him and say, how are you doing? And he snarled at her.

He was very ugly to her. And she was a little bit taken aback and the PT knew her and then knew her circumstances because he'd seen her and she'd been there several times. And he told the soldier, hey, look, you might want to listen to this lady. She's got some things to offer to you.

And the guy was swearing and saying, I don't, you know, just, well, I won't repeat what he said, but just really was pretty ugly. And if you remember a couple of programs ago, I talked about Gracie's gumption and she has it to spare. She's a tough gal.

I will tell you this. And she held on to one of the parallel bars near her and she propped up her right foot next to this guy's face. Now she doesn't wear legs with covering on them.

So they look real robotic. And this foot was in a beautiful shoe because I know I pick out her shoes. Sometimes I take a leg to the store to fit her shoes. So she doesn't have to go. Then I'll video with her and say, you like this one?

And I'll make sure it fits. But it's kind of weird walking into a shoe store with a leg, but I've done it and I've got the footage to prove it. But she's got this beautiful shoe over this prosthetic foot. And this soldier turned his head and saw her artificial foot. And then he looked down and saw her balancing on her other artificial foot. And she looked at him square in the eyes and she said, you ain't the only amputee in here, big guy. And he held her eyes for a moment and then nodded in understanding.

The two of them had a conversation. He lost his leg due to friendly fire. He, you know, he got wounded by his own team and he was very resentful and bitter towards it. In his mind, he couldn't even relish in being a hero because, you know, it was an accident.

It's not supposed to happen. He didn't get hurt in enemy combat. He got hurt by his own team. And it can be, you know, they call it the fog of war. I mean, there's a lot of things that can happen in combat where people get hurt because things go very wrong very quickly.

And he was one of them. He spent some time with Gracie and the soldier and him manned up. And they had a powerful conversation, but it started with Gracie making herself vulnerable, but also confronting him with her own vulnerability.

And I think these are the things that I have tried to adopt into my own life. That you, you take your legs off and you throw a ball with somebody who doesn't have legs, or you confront people out of your own journey of your own pain, your own experience. And this is what I do on this program, emulating things that I observed from Gracie and others, where you expose your own wounds. You make yourself vulnerable. You say, you know what? I'm going to do this with you. And I'm going to do this like you, because we're all on the same journey. And that's what she did.

Or you say, you know what? I'm going to show you these wounds in order to give you a bit of clarity of thought, to give you understanding and perspective, like Gracie did with that soldier who was so resentful. And that's, again, I've always admired this about Gracie is that she is able to somehow coalesce that focus of hers in the midst of all of these that focus of hers in the midst of all that she carries and all that she deals with to see these things. And it's not, I don't even think she even really thinks about it. I think it's just so much in her DNA. This is who she is. She doesn't have a script.

Trust me on this. I've been married to her for 36 years. You cannot script Gracie.

I have tried. She just lives and she senses this. She does it. She acts on it.

It's an extraordinary thing to observe. And I've tried to incorporate those kinds of principles in my life, but you know what? That's really the gospel. That's what Jesus did for us.

He said, I'm going to do this with you and like you. And then he confronts us with his own wounds, just like he did with Thomas. Here, touch my side. Touch my hands. See the nail prints so that we are confronted, strengthened, encouraged. We have companionship.

We have hope in the midst of this journey in ways that are almost mind boggling to us when we're in the throes of the injury. He was a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief. Scripture refers to him as such. And so, as he identifies with our own weakness, because he became all this for us. He became sin who knew no sin.

He did all these things. And this is what penetrates into those deep places in our hearts where we may feel so resentful. Maybe we've been recipients. Maybe you've been a recipient of friendly fire, but you know what? Jesus was the ultimate recipient of friendly fire. In Isaiah, it states that God was pleased to bruise him like this, to do this to him, because justice was satisfied. And a lot of people talk about God's grace. We talk about God's grace all the time. Oh, God's grace. But we don't want to talk about his justice, but you can't segment God.

You don't bifurcate God. He is just and he has grace all at the same time and so much more. And it's not that he looked at our sin and said, hey, it's okay.

All right, I clean, I absolve you of this. No, he looked at Christ and said, my justice is satisfied. He looked at Christ and pardon me. He looked at Christ and pardon you.

But Christ bore the friendly fire. He did that for us so that we can hang on to him and his righteousness to guide us through these very painful places in our life that are very real. But we're not doing it alone. He does it with us because he did it like us. And that is hope for the caregiver.

We'll be right back. helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called Core Civic.

And we met them over 11 years ago. And they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it.

Before Core Civic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville. And I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them, so forth. And I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me.

And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that Core Civic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.

And that's where the focus of Standing with Hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years.

So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona, where it's such an extraordinary ministry. Think with that, inmates volunteering for this, they want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. Standingwithhope.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-16 11:41:42 / 2022-11-16 11:48:23 / 7

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