lean hardA Story:

Fidelia Fisk was a 19th century missionary to what is today Iraq and Iran.  She enjoyed teaching, especially young girls, who quickly learned that “Ms. Fisk” as they called her, loved them as if they were her own children.

Each day, Ms. Fisk would wait for her girls to arrive at her modest home.  When they all had arrived, she would sit on the floor with her legs and feet crossed in front of her, as was the custom of teachers in that part of the world at the time.  The girls would eagerly gather around her in like fashion, rushing to be the closest to their beloved teacher and ready to absorb whatever Ms. Fisk had for them to learn that day.

But Fidelia struggled most of her adult life with severe back pain.  It was difficult for her to sit even for a few minutes, but it was especially difficult for her to sit on the cold, dirt floors as she taught.  But, each day, she suffered in silence because she loved “her girls” and enjoyed seeing their smiles as they each scrambled to be as near to her as possible.

One afternoon, as Ms. Fisk sat on the floor, her pain was obvious.  Her face betrayed her pain as she grimaced and shifted her weight, hoping to find some relief. She was suffering greatly.

From the back of the group of girls, one of the older students saw her teacher was hurting.  Quietly, she stood up and softly walked around the group of classmates and very gently sat down behind Ms. Fisk, with her back against the teacher’s.  When Ms. Fisk realized what was happening, she was hesitant to put her weight against the student for fear she would become uncomfortable.

Sensing her reluctance, the student turned her head to Ms. Fisk’s ear and whispered, “If you love me, lean hard.”


If you love God, lean hard.

To whom will you say “lean hard” when they face a struggle?