You wouldn't think a guy who has had two strokes would have much hope, but Clinton Tuck not only has hope, he is excited about his life. (See the link at the end of this story to read more about Clinton's journey). Last week, during my visit to Shady Lawn Nursing Home, Clinton asked if I would take him with me to Trigg Manor Nursing Home to participate in their weekly prayer service. So yesterday, as I was preparing to pick him up, I thought that as long as he was going to come with me, he might as well be given the opportunity to talk to the residents and share the love of Christ with them. I know that Clinton loves Jesus and loves to encourage others.
It's not easy for Clinton to get around. I pulled around to the back of Shady Lawn Nursing Home to pick him up. He refused any help from me choosing instead to push himself forward with his left arm and left leg. I watched as he plodded along in his wheel chair. His right side is mostly paralyzed, so it takes a great deal of effort for him to get from his room to the exit ramp at the back of the building (approximately seventy-five feet). He rolled his wheelchair alongside of the front passenger door of my 1998 Toyota Camry, then I helped steady him as he lifted himself up from the wheelchair. He held onto the front door of the car while I packed the wheelchair in the trunk. Thankfully, it collapses almost like an umbrella and easily fits in. Even though the front seat of my Camry was pushed all the way back as far as it would go, I still had to help him lift and twist his legs to get them into the car.
Trigg Manor Nursing Home is only a few miles from Shady Lawn and when we arrived there, we went through the same procedure, only in reverse, to get Clinton out of the car and into his wheelchair. I don't know that Clinton will ever get use to his struggles, but he certainly isn't a complainer.
Every Thursday we meet for prayer. All the residents at Trigg Manor are invited. On the last Thursday of the month, we also have a Bible Study. After our prayer time, Clinton spoke to about twenty residents. Here is a summary of what he said:
I had two strokes but I didn't give up hope. We need to keep hope alive. God supplies all our needs. I was on a feeding tube, I couldn't walk-it was God who brought me where I am today. I am so thankful. We need to be thankful. We all have so much to be thankful for. We are so blessed. God loves everybody. Tell people about God and don't be ashamed of Him. Tell people about how He loves you. We all have a different story to share. Your story is different than mine.
Take one day at a time. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. We need to start with our children. How many of you have children? We have to leave them an example. It starts in the home. You can't blame the principal. We need Jesus.
I am so thankful that I met Clinton Tuck. He is an inspiration to me. Sometimes it takes great hardship and suffering to recognize that all we really need in life is right before our eyes. Don't let another day pass before you come to this realization. Take what my friend Clinton says to heart. And be reminded of what the apostle Paul wrote:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18 NKJV).