An Inspiring Story

Our Bible tells us that God never gives us a load that we cannot bear, if only we are willing to allow him into our life.

Last summer, at a legislative conference that I attended, I heard John O’Leary, author of the book On Fire, who offered an inspiring speech. His story and the way he presented it entertains while bringing tears to everyone’s eyes. Mr. O’Leary, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, grew up as most young boys, loving sports and getting into mischief. At the age of nine, an explosion left John with third degree burns over 87 percent of his body. He remembered laying in the hospital bed as his father arrived outside the room. As he tells the story, all he could think was that his father was going to kill him for playing with fire. With third degree burns over most of his body, what he heard the doctor say was, “We will do all we can”.

The story of the accident was headline news. As reported by Dan O’Neill in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this is the story. John had received burns so bad that few survive; the odds were even less for a 9-year-old boy. While he was tied to the hospital bed, unable to eat, drink, or breathe on his own, with his eyes swollen shut, a voice said to him, “Listen to me kid, you’re going to make it.” As a St. Louis baseball fan, John recognized the radio voice of Jack Buck, the Cardinals’ game announcer. Before Buck walked out he added, “And when you do, we’re going to celebrate. We‘re going to have ‘John O’Leary Day’ at the ballpark.” When Buck left the room, he cried. The nurse explained to him that there was no hope of John surviving.

Each of us can make a difference also, we can inspire others. Pray that you are listening when the call comes.

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To read the entire column pick up the Oct. 31, 2018 edition of the Brunswick Times-Gazette.