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Who Is The Crippled Guy?

Written for and read during the funeral of Keith Frye
Thursday, October 20, 1988.

A friend approached one Sunday morn
With furrow near his eye,
To ask about a man way back–
The one we call “Keith Frye.”

With tears in his voice and a choke in his throat
He asked through a loving sigh,
“Who is the boy back on the right,
Whose wheelchair draweth nigh–

“The one who wears the great big smile,
The little crippled guy?”
I cleared my throat and wiped a tear,
And proudly gave reply:

I know a man who sits back there,
Who seemeth kinda shy.
He can’t walk or run or jump,
But he ain’t no crippled guy.

His HEART ain’t crippled: It’s strong as steel.
It leaps and jumps and runs.
It’s warm and big and kind and true
And causes loads of fun.

So, I guess you’re talkin’ ’bout someone else.
‘Cause though .he can’t jump high,
And though he lives in a chair of steel,
He ain’t no crippled guy.

His FAITH ain’t crippled either, pal;
It’s sure alive and well,
He’s full of plans and happy dreams
And full of hopes that swell.

So, I guess you’re talking ’bout someone else.
‘Cause though he often sighs
And hurts and pains and weeps and groans,
He ain’t no crippled guy.

His SPIRIT ain’t crippled: Its strength abounds.
It climbs and soars and flies.
It’s far more agile and stonger than
Most other gals and guys.

So, I guess you’re talking ’bout someone else.
‘Cause though he’s often shy,
And though his legs are paralyzed,
He ain’t no crippled guy.

His SOUL ain’t crippled or lame or halt;
Its cheer and joy abound.
It’s full of optimism, too,
That runs and jumps around.

So, I guess you’re talkin’ bout someone else
Than the one who rolleth by.
‘Cause though he never’walks a step,
He ain’t no crippled guy.

His MIND ain’t crippled. It’s sane and sharp.
It meditates and prays.
It deeply loves and feels and cares
And overflows with praise.

So, I guess you’re talkin’ ’bout someone else
can’t identify.
‘Cause the chair-bound one I have in mind
Just ain’t no crippled guy.

His LOVE ain’t crippled. It’s stronger than
A lot of other folks.
It’s strong enough to bear his own
And many others’ yokes.

So, I guess you’re talking ’bout someone else
Than the one with dimming eye.
‘Cause though he never moves’ alone,
He ain’t no crippled guy.

His COURAGE ain’t crippled. It’s faced a lot
of battles others fled.
It fights and stands and ne’er retreats
And forgeth on instead.

So, I guess you’re talkin’ ’bout someone else.
‘Cause I can verify
That though he never wins a race,
He ain’t no crippled guy.

His feet don’t run; his legs don’t move;’
He cannot jump or walk.
His eyes don’t work; his arms can’t throw;
And something mars his talk.

Most of his body needs repair.
The rest is paralyzed.
But with that heart and faith and soul,
He ain’t no’crippled guy.

For broken feet and legs and toes,
And tongue and ears and eyes,
And hands and arms that don’t work well,
And a body paralyzed

Can’t cripple one whose soul is well
And spirit’s always high.
‘Cause all that counts is workin’ swell:
He ain’t no crippled guy.

But wait, beloved- -lookey there!
A miracle’s begun!
Our hero’s legs now suddenly
Can walk and jump and run.

He didn’t have to take his chair,
‘Cause Jesus cometh nigh.
The one up there–the shoutin’ one—
No more’s a crippled guy.

Beloved ones who’ve cared for him,
Who’ve often wondered, “Why?”
It’s right to mourn and long and hurt;
It is not wrong to cry.

Take faith, because you had a part
That no one can deny.
Because of you, your love and care,
He weren’t no crippled guy.

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