One of the greatest personal dividends of sharing Jake's story is receiving news that someone has been ministered to through God's amazing grace. Many of you have been a blessing to me over this past year with kind words and helpful reviews.
Recently I received a very special email from a man named Brandon Ryan.
Brandon is also a writer and has a wonderful blog. I challenge you to read his writing and look into his world. His words are filled with encouragement, openness and honesty--and so was his email. But it was not the content of the email that moved me as much as the "qualifications" of the sender.
You see, when I wrote the book "Wrestling With An Angel" I thought of many different people it might reach.
I hoped it would reach parents that were struggling with the difficulties of raising disabled children. I prayed it would reach people who were having trouble seeing and experiencing God's grace in the battles of everyday life. I hoped it would reach the lost with the light of the gospel.
But honestly, and perhaps ironically, I never even thought of Jake's story ministering to someone with severe disabilities. I am more than a little shamed by my shallowness.
The true miracle of any ministry lies in the mystery of our Father's great wisdom and amazing grace. God has a way of going beyond the meager capabilities of our words and intentions, sprinkling them with His power, and using them to reach exactly those He has in mind:
My name is Brandon Ryan,
I'd like to share with you some ways that your book “Wrestling With an Angel” has effected my life. You see, I was born with Cerebral Palsy. Doctors told my parents that I'd never be able to do everyday functions such as feeding myself or dressing myself, let alone giving me much of a chance to live.
Much like life with your son, my parents had to wake in the early mornings of the day to get me dressed for school. I remember how much time that would take.
I really saw myself in two scenes in your book, one was where you were giving your son a bath, and he rested in the water with a smile on his face. That is something that I'd look forward to, that and playing with toys in the water.
Secondly, I know all about people staring, and giving you a once over. To this day, being twenty-six years old, people still do that to me. And yes, I can say that it sometimes has an effect on me still.
I fell in love with the way you loved your son, along with your wife and family. My father spent twenty-one years in the AirForce, as well as an ex amount of years as a police officer, my mother spent twenty some years doing home daycare. Where now she and my father take care of a mentally handicapped man, who really is about two years old at the end of the day.
As I read through your story, it made me sense that the Lord was and is working on widening my heart.
All I can truly say is thank you Greg, for creating this work.
Thank YOU Brandon!