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Fragile, they are not


Brenda Nail DeLauder Columnist

  It’s funny how a picture will pop into your head and make you think about something or someone. For years, I’ve enjoyed sending cards to people, and half the fun has been finding cards with good pictures on them. One of my all-time favorites, featured a photograph of a purple crocus pushing its way up through snow and ice as if to say “I’m here!” The flower appears to be so fragile, yet to push its way up through the frozen ground, let alone whatever crust is on top, shows its inner power.

  Such is the same with humans. Some of the mightiest people I have known, did not appear to be so, physically. To strangers some may be considered small, fragile, weak or disabled. Yet it would not take long to realize the inner strength of these individuals.

  At a young age, I learned strength and wisdom comes in all sizes. My Aunt Berta was a little woman. I remember how shocked I was when someone made the comment on how terrified they were for her to be out there with her cows. “Why they could just stomp all over her tiny body” was part of the comment. If you ever arrived at feeding time and went out to the back lot to find her, all you had to do was watch the cows. They always stepped gently around her and if you looked closely, you would see her hand reaching up to pet one on their back. At no time in my life did I ever see her as weak or fragile, so to hear such a comment told me they didn’t really know her. Even in her late years when most of her hearing was gone, the sharp awareness in her face was amazing. She might not have caught every word spoken, but seldom did she miss a facial expression. All these years after her passing, I still find her strength and wisdom helping me throughout life.

  One of the first people I met at our church has cerebral palsy. While “MC” may be small in size, she is mighty in spirit. The disease hinders her physical movements, but it doesn’t stop her. Most of us wish for minds as sharp as hers. She fought her way through college and retired from the CDC, well respected in her field. Her involvement in our church gives us all a push every now and then. It’s sort of the “if MC can do this, I can surely do that” type of shove we all need from time to time.

  Even critters have amazed me over the years. Skitter was a tiny yellow and white kitten who was shunned by his mother. He had a crooked spine and a funny eye, but held a most determined strength. One of my favorite pictures, I still have in my home, shows him hanging out in the backyard on top of his favorite resting spot. While my horse, Powder, grazed, Skitter perched on his back. Because of his persistence, he gained the higher ground he so often sought. By doing so, he helped to teach me the importance of continuing to try.

  We all face trials in our lives, but those with disabilities or limitations often provide great inspiration to us. Their strength, determination, and positive attitude can lead us to try harder instead of making excuses and saying “I can’t.” We are all given the right amount of strength by God, if only we apply it. Why don’t we all put that strength to seeking God’s guidance, by spending time praying for our nation on this Fourth of July? Our strength comes from the Lord!


  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.



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