Tuesday, December 7, 2010


When I first met Allen Bradley, we were both just kids. My family was moving into my Grandma's house after she passed away. Allen's cerebral palsy and extreme poverty forced him to have to scoot himself along the sidewalk on the seat of his pants using only his very strong arms and understandably dirty hands. We didn't have much money ourselves, but my parents immediately took up a collection around the neighborhood and bought Allen a little red wagon at cost from my Uncle Bob's hardware store. That sure saved wear and tear on the little guy's pants!

My own brother, Dick, had recently died also, from the Muscular Dystrophy that had put him first in a wheelchair and then in a hospital bed; so to me, it was almost like God gave us Allen to love and protect in Dick's place. Coincidentally or not, as I grew up and moved to different parts of the city, Allen never lived far from me, although he also moved.

When I married my husband John three and a half years ago, I didn't realize it, but I was giving Allen the best friend he ever had! John is retired and it is truly his pleasure to drive Allen to the doctor, grocery store, bank, do his laundry, and even take him with us to our grace church followed by lunch at a restaurant. The two of them have an almost Laurel and Hardy (or Abbott and Costello) comedy act going on all of the time!

Al, who has the IQ of maybe a twelve-year-old, may not know a lot about theology or right division, but he does treasure having God's word in his lap in his big old King James Bible with extra-large print. During the message at church, he does his best to flip to the right passages and sometimes cheers when he finds one. He especially loves fellow-shipping with the saints, holding his large hand out and saying in his falsetto voice, "Hi, I'm Al! What's your name?" And he more often than not will remember it! (Which is more than I can say!)

If you haven't met him here on earth, don't worry, you'll meet him in heaven; for, since he was a little boy on the sidewalk, he's been waiting for the Lord Jesus to come and get him, transform his weak and wasted body into a glorious body like unto his own, and show him the beauties of the universe. He's known since then that the Lord Jesus Christ died for his sins and rose again just for him. When he sees injustice or unkindness in his fellow men, Allen likes to say, "They don't know the Lord Jesus!" Well, Allen sure knows him and trusts him with his life with a childlike faith that comes straight from his heart...and he's not afraid to make him known!

Whether he gets there first, or you get there first, there will come a day when he'll say to you, "Hi, I'm Al! What's your name?"