Thursday, December 18, 2008

A trip to the library

The last time I went to the library, I didn't prepare myself beforehand. Normally I have a list of authors or some topic I'm currently interested in. This time I was starting from scratch.

After determining that there was nothing to help with Greek study (except a Greek-English dictionary), I headed for non-Fiction. I ended up with a pretty random selection of biographies (well, most of them are people of faith).

My favorite one so far has been "Take my Hands" by Dorothy Clarke Wilson. It's the story of Dr. Mary Verghese, an Indian woman who, despite enduring a car accident in which she became a paraplegic, went on to become a surgeon, mainly treating leprosy victims.

I like the straightforward and positive tone of the book. It's inspiring without making you want to gag over the saintliness of the people described.

Without giving away the story, here are a few observations I made:

1) Mary often recalls the words of "Take my life and let it be..." and constantly thinks about how she can be useful to God and everyone around her.

2) Mary knew what her calling was. When I was reading this I was thinking about how I have never wanted to be a doctor, but I find their stories inspiring and I'm so glad God called others to this vocation. How great that we all have different callings! :)

3) Disabled people in other countries have a different experience. I didn't actually notice this in Mary's story until she traveled to the States and the comparison was shown through her eyes. It had just been taken for granted that she would need several aides for the rest of her life. No one had ever helped her try to learn to walk again. The American approach is more towards teaching skills for independence. I saw a woman in a motorized wheelchair recently in the grocery store, and thought of all the dear grannies back in St. Petersburg.

Wilson, Dorothy Clarke: Take my Hands: The Remarkable Story of Dr. Mary Verghese. New York: McGraw-Hill ,1963


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