His Toe Saved Our Lives

With an injured toe, a pounding head, and a blister on his heel, my nephew forced himself to climb higher towards the summit of Mount Humphreys. Watching him, I thought:

What makes us determined to succeed when our heart tells us to quit?

My nephew’s face dripped with sweat. His body leaned slightly forward and he made several stops, resting one hand on a rock with his head bent, face slack. I encouraged him to drink water as he forgot in his pain to stay hydrated. I don’t know if the sweat on his face was exertion or a combination of pain and effort, but my nephew wanted to reach the saddle. He wasn’t sure if his toe would allow the last hour to the summit past the saddle.

His healthy leg supported most of his weight as he climbed, and that leg ached from the effort alone. He groaned, but didn’t grumble. As hail came down on us and the clouds gathered in the sky, thunder echoed; the sound hitting each other, bouncing off of the hollows of the mountains. T— was only a few yards from the saddle. The rest of the group waited and yelled down encouragement. I began to urge him more frantically to hurry.

“C’mon, T—! We must get to the rock for shelter at the saddle. No time to rest now. Hurry, T—.” We were exposed to the sky, past the tree line now. The hail stung the back of my neck.

He reached the saddle and we hurried to the rock to take shelter as hail became heavy. Lightening jumped from cloud to cloud. As we deliberated whether to continue to the summit, I felt uneasy. When thunder sounded above us, my husband made a wise call to abandon our goal of getting to the summit. I thought at that moment of God’s timing.

What good could come out of my nephew dropping a weight on his toe and re-injuring it the weekend before?

If my nephew’s toe hadn’t of been re-injured, T—would have kept up with the group and I wouldn’t have sent the text to my husband at the saddle to wait for us. T—toe kept the group at the saddle when the storm broke. It would have been quite serious had the storm broke while we were past the saddle where there were no trees or shelter; nothing to separate us from a lightning strike. The awe of that God-moment was compounded by a report that two women turned around on the trail past the saddle to hurry off of the mountain.

They said their hair was standing on end.

T—‘s toe probably saved our life, and is a fine example of how God uses something bad and turns it into something good. T–’s determination at his age was truly inspirational as I watched him struggle with his minds’ eye set on the goal. All of my nephews and the friends who came did well.

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