A Broken Back - The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional

A Broken Back

I was sick, and you cared for me.

Matthew 25:36

As the older-model vehicle careened around a corner on the country road one Memorial Day weekend, it hit loose gravel and spun out of control. With a sickening lurch, it hit a tree in the ditch and ended up lying on its side. Of the four teenage girls inside the car, I was the only one who ended up with a serious injury—two broken vertebrae. The others escaped relatively unscathed.

After surgery and a week in the hospital, I went home the summer after my junior year of high school to an altered reality: careful shifting in bed, limited movement, a back brace for three months, and no possibility of participating in marching band that summer or cheerleading in the fall.

I felt sad and angry. When I was in public, my back brace garnered looks from curious passersby. I can still remember one boy who almost tripped over his feet trying to see the apparatus.

Yet through it all, what stands out most in my memory now—besides achieving the best tan my Scandinavian skin will ever see, due to the countless hours I spent lying outside in the hot summer sun because I couldn’t do much else—is the way my friends responded. Some visited me in the hospital, even though it was an hour away from home. One friend came to see me numerous times at my house, bringing me books and magazines. Another friend took me swimming (one of the few activities I could safely do) numerous evenings after she’d finished work for the day.

I easily could have felt alone and lonely, but my friends went out of their way to let me know they were thinking of me. They made the conscious decision to care for me when I was recovering, and it made a world of difference to me. The emotional support they provided was just as important as the soothing water of the lake and the books stacked next to my bed.


Today’s Act of Kindness

How can you provide emotional support for someone struggling with a medical condition? Drop off a coffee or a magazine at their house, or send a message to let them know you’re thinking of them.

From the Book:

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional cover image

The One Year Daily Acts of Kindness Devotional
By Kristin Demery, Kendra Roehl, and Julie Fisk

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