Crutches

A few weeks ago, I started seeing this video about crutches pop up all over the place:

 

In this video we see an exciting new redesign for crutches, which basically haven’t changed much or been improved upon since the American Civil War, 150 years ago.

It was interesting to see this redesign, since we see a lot of crutches here at the hospital, and in fact, we started collecting them. So I wanted to share some pictures of crutches that we have picked up from our patients. They have left them behind, either because they have been healed and no longer need crutches, or because we have given them nice new (although not redesigned) crutches to use.

It is sobering, in my opinion, to consider these crutches, and to remember that these are all real crutches used by our patients when they came to our hospital. These are not antiques from the Civil War era. These crutches are not 150 years old. These crutches and others just like them are being used in Niger right now, in 2016.

pair 1

Pair #1

pair 2

Pair #2

padding 1

Padding detail on Pair #2

pair 3

Pair #3

padding 2

Padding detail on Pair #3

We keep these crutches in our office because they are a great reminder of the healing and transformation that takes place at the CURE hospital. We have seen patients literally throw these crutches off, just like the child in the CURE logo. They throw them off because they no longer need them. They can walk, they have been healed.

But we also like to keep these crutches around, not only as a reminder of the healing that takes place, but also as a reminder of where our patients are coming from. These are hand-made crutches, crafted out of necessity and need. They are worn down from use and in many cases have been repaired multiple times.

 

crutch 5

Singular crutch

handle

Crutch handle

Some people say that religion is a crutch. They claim that the idea of God is something that weak people need to lean on because they are unable to face the harsh realities of life. The assumption is that if you are strong, you don’t need a crutch, because you can stand on your own strength, or face the difficulty of limping through life on your own. This type of superman or (dare I say it) übermensch, is hobbled but not humble, broken but unbowed.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but in my experience, I haven’t met many people like that. The people I know (myself included) are weak, wounded and hurting. We need help to stand, and we are glad to have a crutch to lean on when the alternative is falling down.

Is God a crutch? Yes. But a crutch is a welcome sight when you cannot walk on your own.

pair 4

Pair #4

 

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One Response to Crutches

  1. tribes777 says:

    Thanks for sharing this great collection. Working in rural Africa, adaptive equipment such as these crutches are common and a great reminder of the innovative spirit. Most likely, each pair of was made as an expression of love – the love of not wanting to see a fellow human being drag themselves in the dirt in a rural village or along the pavement of a filthy city street. Thanks for the great work you do.

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