From Rich Dixon:


Part 2 of my encounter with “The Elevator.” Part 1 here.

It’s an entire chapter in Relentless Grace. Stabbing at buttons, guessing wrong, watching the other car come and go until I finally guessed correctly, only to have my celebration cut short when wheels got stuck in the tiny crack between the floor and the car.

The automatic doors tried to close. Hit my wheels. Opened. Again, and again, and again.

Stuck. Stuck in the doorway, in the hospital, in my miserable broken body.  Stuck. Precisely what remained of what was once a life.

Due to lack of balance from the halo brace, my chair was essentially a heavy, difficult-to-maneuver recliner on wheels. Upper body leaned back, feet protruded forward.

You’ll see the significance of that detail.

Eventually, I escaped. Somehow, I managed to free my wheels from their snare and rolled into the elevator.


+ + +

The doors closed and the car began moving. Not so bad. Can’t get lost, right? Just push to the back of the car and spin around.

I was moving, on my own! Until you’re stuck, unable to move yourself, you cannot appreciate the sense of freedom that accompanies independent motion.

The controls lurked over my left shoulder. I rolled slowly to the back of the car, began a pivot – and discovered I couldn’t turn around within the confines of the elevator! The big clunky chair was too long. The back hit one wall, the footrests banged against the other.

Stuck. Again.

I’d like to say I talked calmly to Jesus. I didn’t.

Instead, I concluded I’d never escape. I wondered if, years from now, someone would wonder about the skeleton riding endlessly up and down.

Where were the lessons, the growth, and the “joy” that’s supposed to come with trials?

Stuck in the elevator.

To be continued…

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