“I heard that “Joni and Friends”, an outreach that ministers world-wide to our disabled population was celebrating its 35th birthday. I remember seeing the movie of Joni Eareckson’s life as a teenager and it made a lasting impression on me. This amazing quadriplegic woman’s testimony birthed this ministry and it’s still going strong. Visit her website www.joniandfriends.org ….. it’s there that I noticed they were welcoming kids to participate in a contest of drawing 35 “somethings” in a picture or of them doing “something” 35 times and sending it to them. There was no mention of prizes, this was an opportunity to get in on the fun and celebrate. I knew my 12 year old patient Jacob would want to be a part, but since he is unable to hold a pencil or ambulate, we would have to get creative with this. God brought it to my mind that there’s nothing more unique and personal than a fingerprint….. so I took it from there. Using yellow glow-in-the-dark paint, I put 35 of Jacob’s fingerprints on black poster board. I transformed each of those into fireflies. These fireflies were being released from a mason jar, free and singing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine”. They were making a statement that every life has purpose and, with a right spirit, you can be a blessing everyday. I attached a photo of Jacob working on his card, and a letter telling them how “…there is no shortage on the countless smiles his spirit communicates to all of us everyday. His presence alone reveals a heart precious towards God, his family and others.” Off in the mail it went.
Much to my surprise, Jacob heard back from them. He had won an award for his card, and I did too! Joni and Friends sent us both an 11 x 14 print of her famous drawings, using a pencil in her teeth. Wow, touch my heart. God is so good to bless us both in this manner.”