ca0xu3gh.jpg Story of the day:  Walking in Freedom

There are no limits to what children can accomplish for the Kingdom of God.  If they have those seeds of faith, love, or hope planted at a young age, there is nothing that they can’t do.  I was reading this inspiring story today and I thought about how much love, faith, and hope can play in determining one’s desire to be motivated.  The story is by Arthur Gordon and was found in A Touch of Wonder.

He relates a story of a man who had been stricken with polio at age three, and his parents probably Depression-poor and overwhelmed, had abandoned him at a New York City hospital.  Taken in by a foster family, he was sent to stay with their relatives in Georgia when he was six, in hopes that the warmer climate would improve his condition.  What improved his condition, though, was Maum Jean, an elderly black woman who took that  “frail, lost, lonely little boy” into her heart.  For six years, she daily massaged his weak legs; administering her own hydrotherapy in a nearby creek; and encouraged him spiritually with her stories, songs, and prayers.  Gordon writes:

Night after night Maum Jean continued the massaging and praying.  Then one morning, when I was about 12, she told me she had a surprise for me.

She led me out into the yard, placed me with my back against an oak tree; I can feel the rough bark of it to this day.  She took away my crutches and braces.  She moved back a dozen paces and told me that the Lord had spoken to her in a dream.  He had said that the time had come for me to walk.  “So now,” said Maum Jean, “I want you to walk over to me.”

My instant reaction was fear.  I knew I couldn’t walk unaided; I had tried.  I shrank back against the solid support of the tree.  Maum Jean continued to urge me.

I burst into tears.  I begged.  I pleaded.  Her voice rose suddenly, no longer gentle and coaxing but full of power and command.  “You can walk, boy!  The Lord has spoken!  Now walk over here.”

She knelt down and held out her arms.  And somehow, impelled by something stronger than fear, I took a faltering step, and another, and another, until I reached Maum Jean and fell into her arms, both of us weeping.

It was two more years before I could walk normally, but I never used crutches again…

Then the night came when one of Maum Jean’s tall grandsons knocked on my door.  It was late; there was frost in the air.  Maum Jean was dying, he said; she wanted to see me.

The old cabin was unchanged:  floors of cypress, windows with wooden shutters-no glass, roof of palm thatch mixed with pitch.  Maum Jean in bed surrounded by silent watchers, her frail body covered by a patchwork quilt.  From a corner of the room, a kerosene lamp cast a dim saffron light.  Her face was in shadow, but I heard her whisper my name.  Someone put a chair close to the bed.  I sat down and touched her hand.

For a long time, I sat there…Now and then Maum Jean spoke softly.  Her mind was clear.  She hoped I remembered the things that she had taught me.  Outside, the night stirred with a strong wind.  In the other room the fire snapped, throwing orange sparks.  There was a long silence; she lay with her eyes closed.  Then the old voice spoke, stronger suddenly, “Oh,” said Maum Jean, with surprising gladness. “Oh, it’s so beautiful!”   She gave a little contented sigh, and died…

All that happened a long time ago.  I now live in another town.  But I still think of Maum Jean often, and the main thing she taught me: nothing is a barrier when love is strong enough.  Not age.  Not race.  Not disease.  Not anything.”

Have you been standing against that oak tree most of your life, waiting for the right moment and have become afraid to move away from it?  Right now, my prayer for you is that those crutches and braces are removed, because it is now time for you to walk.  If God has spoken to You, then you need to take that first faltering step and move forward not out of fear, but of hope, love, and faith so that God’s impelling love can be moved throughout your entire being and thrust into a life that has been in bondage.  That bondage that is holding you up against that oak tree is nothing, because God’s love much stronger and is enough to get you moving forward. You just have to let go and put one foot forward, then another, then another, and pretty soon you will be walking in freedom.

Quote of the day:  Augustine

“Hope has two beautiful daughters.  Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.”

Bible verse of the day:  Isaiah 26:3

“You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in you.”


Dear Heavenly Father,

Today as people start to move away from that Oak Tree and start walking forward, I pray that they find peace that can only come from knowing You.  Whatever it is that has held them in bondage to that Oak Tree, I pray is released today so that they can see with “surprising gladness just how beautiful it is.”  I pray for souls to be saved and lives to be transformed and done in a way that they know can only from You.  I pray for wisdom this day, time management, and to be a light to those around me and those I meet this day.  Thank You for this blessed day.

In Jesus Name I pray,


  1. whenjesuscalls says:

    Thank you for your prayer and insights. I also hear Jesus calling His own to abandon our captivity and find freedom through our Heavenly Father, God. His is the Kingdom, and the Glory, forever and ever. Amen.

  2. doug says:

    Thanks for the quote of hope and two sisters I wrote it down….

    I’ll take up courage thanks.. doug

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