Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

I don’t like asking for help. Yup, I’d much rather offer assistance than receive it.

Our culture celebrates ability, competence, and independence. Dependence is discouraged. Needy people are dismissed as a burden. Disability is denigrated.

And then, just when our collective conscience is on the verge of being hardened beyond repair, a story catches our attention and softens our cynical hearts. One such story was recently highlighted in news reports of the Boston Marathon.

“Team Hoyt” has been running in the Boston Marathon for more than three decades. Running for thirty years might be unusual, but what is remarkable is that Team Hoyt is comprised of a determined father and his quadriplegic son.

When Dick Hoyt runs, pushing Rick in a racing wheelchair, they are an inspiration to all who see them. Rick’s cerebral palsy prevents him from running, so for more than thirty years he and his dad have “run” together.

Despite my lack of athleticism, I identify with Dick more than with his son. I can’t imagine being like Rick in a wheelchair, unable to control his limbs. I don’t relate to his inability to articulate his thoughts. I find it difficult to identify with his utter dependence on someone else to accomplish his goal of competing in a marathon.

Yet, in the eyes of God, I am much more like the son than his father.

Rick is physically unable to run in his own strength. Regardless of my physical ability, I am spiritually helpless, unable to solve the problem of my sin.

Rick shares the victory when his dad pushes him across each finish line. I share in Christ’s victory over sin and death when He died on the Cross for me.

Rick is dependent on his father to propel him through the race. I am totally dependent on the Holy Spirit for the strength to finish the race of life.

Yes, I am THAT son.

And I have a heavenly Father who carries me, and will continue to carry me, until I cross the finish line of life.

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