Around half-nine on a Saturday night I got a knowing feeling: “Maggie needs a quilt”. I stopped for a moment, because of course it was true. So after a bit of planning, I had a simple design sketched and was cutting blocks. Within a few days it was done, down to the hand-stitched binding. Today, I caught a ride up to the therapy center to deliver my surprise:
So let me tell you about Maggie. She and I know one another through working in children’s ministry. (Bonus: she’s engaged to a great friend of mine.) A few weeks before Christmas, soon after her sweetheart had left on mission in South Sudan (yes, that South Sudan, but that’s another story), Maggie had an accident which landed her in a trauma bay with spinal surgery following. Immediately calls for prayer went out. Friends started a funding project for her medical expenses. And Maggie began spreading sunshine.
I spent a joyful hour or so laughing and getting excited about what God is doing. I heard of all her friends in the trauma ward (sad to see her go when she moved onto therapy), of the new friends she was teaching to tie-dye (patients now have their own tie-dyed sheets and pillowcases). She gave me some statistics, too: how thousands of people are reading her updates, how she gets daily reminders that complete strangers feel compelled to pray for her, how her joy is inspiring others. The lives she has already touched run the gamut: a staff member asked her to pray for an inoperable tumor; a fellow patient began to smile in therapy; a father started to pray after 15 years off religion.
“The thing I don’t get is… why me?” But she wasn’t asking, “why did this happen to me” – rather, “What’s so inspiring about me?”
It’s easy: the doctors say she will not walk again. Maggie believes in a God who does differently.
And so we laughed. Everything we talked about was in light of the belief that she will walk again – “milk those sweet parking spots while you can, ’cause you won’t need ’em for long!” And in regards to all the upper body strength she’s developing – “I guess I’ll be doing some heavy lifting on the future!” But we couldn’t think of what she’d need to lift.
And the quilt itself is one big prayer of agreement – because you only need to keep warm when you can feel cold! So I gave her a new nickname:
And her children will play I-spy with the blocks, and her grandchildren will ask to hear the story of “when you couldn’t walk when Grandpa was in Africa”. And Miracle Maggie – in that unassuming, kind, and fiercely tenacious way of hers – will tell the story of tragedy-turned-victory because Jesus is really, really that good.
Please keep praying with me for my sweet friend and all her family. She hopes to be discharged before her birthday and would love to walk out of there! I say, “Yes! Over and abundantly more than she could ask or imagine!”