heart in the clouds

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My sister is NOT a skier; met a angel on the slopes

I know my sister well; in fact I know her even better than she knows herself sometimes. That's why when she told me her family had decided to head to the slopes of AngelFire in New Mexico this spring, I had to quietly chuckle.

I remember when we were growing up in the youth group at Chisholm Heights Baptist Church in Mustang, Okla., we went on many "choir" tours together. One trip was to New Mexico, where we had a choice to ski or shop on our one free day. I chose to ski; she chose to shop. I fell twice that day - mostly due to the fact that I stayed on the easy trails all day and perfected my snow plow maneuver. I fell off the lift and then once more when some moron skied into me at the bottom of the slopes. My sis said she never regretted choosing shopping that day and I never regretted skiing, however I just don't feel the need to do it again.

My sister's husband is a pretty good skier and probably made it sound super easy. We have always teased her about having skis for feet, so I guess she thought it would be as easy as walking....ha ha yeah right.

So last night when she told me she twisted her knee on the 4.5 mile trail, I wasn't too surprised. You see, she's also always been very accident prone. She got her hand stuck in the car door before one of my softball games as a child; she fell down basement stairs, end over end, when visiting family in Ohio; she hurt her knee playing basketball in middle school and the list goes on. Now my sister is VERY good at so many other things - cooking, mothering, organizing, running her own business, at times having to be the big sister to me, her big sister and a variety of other tasks. She really is my hero, but the girl can't ski.

She spent two hours with an instructor and said she could barely stand up the entire time. She did persist however and she kept getting up and trying again, God love her. So I guess she was feeling a rush of confidence and decided to ride the lift to the top of Angel Fire's longest trail, 4.5 miles, she was doing great until she twisted her poor knee - not even a mile into the trail.
Here's where the cool part comes in: She was having a hard time and having to go very slow on her hurt knee. Her husband was trying to keep up with their natural ski bunny kiddos and still stay with my sister.

A sweet lady approached and told David to go on with the kids and she would stay with my sister until they reached the bottom. She kept giving Lori words of encouragement and telling her "just get to this tree," "it's not too far, don't give up," "you can do it, I believe in you." What a sacrifice for this lady to stick with my sis even though it probably wasn't the most fun thing to do. Finally 3 hours later, the angel lady and my sister realized she just wasn't going to make it. The lady asked Lori what her husband's name was and told her she would go find him and the ski patrol to come rescue her. My sister said she was crying and it was 27 degrees so the tears were practically freezing to her face. She skied to a hay bale and waited for the snow mobile.

I'm not telling this story to make fun of my sister and I'm not telling it to give glory to anyone but God, for He is the one who placed that lady in my sister's path yesterday. He gave her an encourager and someone to trust when she really needed it. Maybe this lady was an angel; maybe she wasn't - I know I've encountered a few in my short life (I'll tell you about them if you ask). But, we don't have to be physical angels to be there for other people, even those we don't know. This lady was living out the golden rule. It encouraged me and blessed me and hopefully motivated me to be more aware of the needs of people around me.

Lori - thanks for letting God use you - you inspired me and I'm sure you made that lady's day when she was able to help you. Love you sis!!!


Misty said...

That's a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing!

Buddy Burton said...

It is such a blessing to hear that the Lord took care of this situation by sending an "angel" to Lori.

Thanks for sharing this story Aimee!!