The Dorothee Tree

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by Gordy McCoy

Back in 2003-2004, Linda went to Ecola Bible School in Cannon Beach, Oregon. While there, one weekend, she was working as an aide for a seminar called “Chosen to be Handicapped.”

The guest speaker, Bob Cryder, was an individual who used to speak with Billy Graham. He had just found out that he had cancer, he was very ill, but insisted on being at this particular seminar. He told his secretary to clear his calendar of all his speaking engagements except for this one. He even brought his teenage son with him for assistance.

Linda was assigned to a little lady by the name of Dorothee, who was younger than her but looked 20 years her senior. She was born with cerebral palsy that was brought on by a mistake the doctor had made during her birth. Before she met Linda, she was able to communicate with a letter board but couldn’t any longer because her hands and arms were so deformed they were nearly immobile. The only way that she could communicate was to blink her right eye — once for yes and twice for no. Somehow, she managed to invite two friends to the seminar, they came, and they both accepted the Lord as their Savior. Linda spent the weekend waiting on Dorothee, changing her diaper and taking care of all her personal needs.

At the closing of the seminar with the Pacific Ocean and Haystack Rock as the backdrop, all of the students were at the back of the room to let the people enjoy the seminar. They were singing the song “How Great Thou Art” when Linda looked up, she was amazed to see Dorothee with her arms lifted to the Lord.

Ecola State Park, in Cannon Beach, OR has a short trail that you can take where you can look out over the ocean and see Haystack Rock, Tillamook Head Lighthouse, and all the other amazing rock formations with the waves crashing over them. Along this trail, there are several trees that appear to be dead, until you get closer, then you see they still have life and limbs reaching up to heaven. They, like Dorothee, have weathered many storms. Jeremiah 17:8 tells us, “for he will be like a tree planted by water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought.”

Dorothee was a woman that couldn’t even take care of her own personal needs, but who could praise her Lord and bring Him glory. Someday we will all meet her in Heaven and praise Him together. I can’t wait for the day to see hands lifted up … praising our Savior.

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”

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