We were 15 year old “men”, dropped off at the end of the sloppy muck field road at plenty past dark. The rain steadily pounded the hood of my raincoat and the brim of his hat. One hundred yards of greasy mud felt like a mile, with each step adding to the weight of our boots. We came to the pasture gate; a simple wire with a hook latch and a yellow, plastic handle to insulate someone from the electric pulse necessary to deter the cattle.
But this night, as I unhooked the latch, my water soaked glove worked perfectly to conduct the electricity that pulsated through the wire, through the water over the plastic handle, now through my body and to the ground, pounding my heels like a ball-peened hammer. I dropped it as anyone would and it fell in a puddle of water. I had a decision.
The last 4 days of our vacation was the Inheritance of Hope retreat. It ended yesterday. What a great thing we were given. The men and women who served us were totally selfless (Jeffrey rocks!) Sixteen families in all. But of particular impact to me were 2. The husbands I admire. Both wives are terminally ill and in a wheel chair, possibly months from the end of their journey. Both men cared deeply for their wives and children, as young as 5 and as old as 20. Just practical, selfless love. I watched and learned.
I bent down and picked up the wet and muddy insulator, and bore the shocks until the latch was secure. Somehow I hope that the Zimmerman’s proving grounds at 15 years old indicate my tendencies for the rest of my life. I will not be deterred from any hard thing that comes my way. When there is a right thing to do, regardless of the pain, I will do it, God help me. And this is not just referring to Cancer. I’m talking marriage, parenting, work, etc. Those 2 guys just inspired me to be better.