Darwin “Doc” Blackmore passed away this week. I have learned about faith from a number of great people in my life, but Doc taught me as much as anyone could. I will always remember his example.
Doc worked at one of our power plants. Many years ago he was seriously injured in a bicycling accident, and left paralyzed from the neck down. He could do literally nothing for himself. He even relied on a ventilator to breathe (although in the last year he was making progress on a new “pacer” that allowed him to breathe a bit on his own for very short periods of time).
You would think that Doc would have a poor outlook on life. That he would feel sorry for himself. That he might even blame God, or ask “why me”? He did not.
Doc made it his life’s mission to witness to others about the incredible love of God. Can you believe that? He had so little that most of us would think to be thankful for. But he had a voice, and he used it, in between the puffs of his ventilator, to witness to others. In his last years he introduced a number of people to the Lord, and inspired scores of others to redouble their efforts, quit whining, and make the best of the life they have been given.
Every time I met with Doc I came away so uplifted. Do you think spending time with a paraplegic would be depressing, or difficult? Quite the opposite – I felt as if I had been walking with a prince, a man who knew he had a most precious inheritance awaiting him. He was truly rich.
His wife Cindy was also an incredible blessing, not just to her husband, but to hundreds of others who followed her monthly email updates. Again, wouldn’t you expect someone to complain or feel sorry for herself? Not Cindy. She used this opportunity to share the love of God and the many many blessings that she and Doc shared. Their cup truly ran over. How many of us could consider a tragic accident to be a terrific blessing?
Now Doc has been given his reward. He no longer struggles to breathe. And he has a perfect body (ask me how I know – I have a secret to share on this).
I thank God that I had the chance to know Doc Blackmore.