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Nancy Ortberg Moved by Amputee's Gratitude

Nancy Ortberg writes:

I worked as a registered nurse for about ten years before my life took a different direction. One of my earliest patients was a young girl of about 14 who had been in a dirt bike accident. I met this young girl down in the physical therapy department. She was in a whirlpool bath. I had read her chart before I went down to work with her and had learned that as a result of the accident, her leg had been amputated below the knee.

I couldn't imagine what it must be like to be a 14-year-old girl with part of your leg missing. I introduced myself, and we made some small talk. Through the course of our time together, I learned that she was a follower of Christ, although she really didn't say much about that.

I was not prepared for her spirit, however, especially when she lifted her freshly amputated leg up above the bubbling water for me to see and said, "Look at how much I have left!"

She excitedly told me that since the doctors were able to amputate below the knee, it was much easier to fit a prosthesis. She wondered how long it would take to heal so that she could get started with that. I heard most of what she was saying, but I wasn't really paying much attention. My mind was fixed back on the "look how much I have left!" Her gratitude seemed really genuine. It wasn't denial or a Pollyanna mentality. She knew she was missing a good part of her leg, and she wouldn't have chosen that. But she was so very thankful for this bit of good news. Her spirit made my spirit soar that day. And I had two good legs.

Hebrews 12:28 says, "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God." Our gratitude, our thankfulness, is a way in which we worship God. We can sing, and that is worship. We can say thank you, and that is worship. And that day in the hospital, the gratitude of a 14-year-old girl moved me.

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