“My Hero”

"My Hero" - Watercolor by Michele E. Struss. Prints & notecards available at www.hispaintbrush.com


I was born with a form of dwarfism known as SED congenita which causes multiple orthopedic complications.  In 1987, as a result of neurological damage as well as weak muscles from surgical manipulation, I became fully dependent on crutches for the next 13 years of my life.  I remember during that time declaring in hope and frustration, “If ever I don’t need my crutches anymore, I’m going to burn them!”  When I asked my doctor if he thought that day would ever come, his knowledge and understanding spoke, “Most likely, no”.  I never stopped believing though in the One who could heal me, and just a few years later I threw the very crutches that ‘man’ said I would always need into a big bonfire!  My doctor was there celebrating with me and said, “There are many doctors but only one Healer.”

It was just before the Crutch Burning when I painted My Hero.  This painting was inspired by the words of someone dear to my heart.  He calls me his hero because of the strength he sees in my life, but what he doesn’t see is the source of that strength.  In this painting I’ve portrayed myself as a little girl who has fallen while walking with her crutches.  She looks up to the One behind her as if to say, “…but it hurts.”  His strong, but gentle look reveals His response, “It will be okay; I am with you.”  On my own I am weak, but His strength is always there to pick me up.  He is my hero and His name is Jesus.

You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my place of safety.  Psalm 59:9 (NLT)

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