The Man in the Wheelchair


This past Wednesday I had the great privilege of speaking at the Southern Oaks Church of Christ in Chickasha, OK as part of their annual summer sermon series.

I talked to them about the idea of being over doing, and how we so often focus on doing things for Jesus that we sometimes forget to be Jesus to the people around us.

Afterward, a man in a wheelchair came up to speak to me.  The problem was he couldn’t speak.

This man has “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” (ALS) and he has lost his ability to speak in his own voice.  Instead, he motions to a computerized keyboard that sends what he “types” to a speaker that then transmits his thoughts through a robotic voice.

He said, “In my condition, I like the emphasis on being instead of doing.”  And then he smiled broadly.

I loved that he still has his sense of humor but I already knew that about him – because I knew this man.

I had seen his story through the social media feeds of my alma mater Oklahoma Christian University.  You see, it was a group of OC engineering and business students that made the machine that gave this man his “voice.”

The story is captured in the two videos posted below, but before you watch them let me say this…

Carl – the man in the wheelchair – has become known for “being.”  He is being a wonderful example of courage in the face of adversity, faith in the midst of suffering, and positivity in the thick of a negative circumstance.

Carl may not be able to “do” anything for you, but through his “being” he will encourage you.

Let’s be like Carl today!

One thought on “The Man in the Wheelchair

  1. Appreciate your comments Rusty. All of us at Southern Oaks are inspired by Carl Phelps as we see him at EVERY service of the church.


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