Reflections on faith, life, love, politics, culture and whatever else crosses the mind of a progressive-minded minister
Friday, August 22, 2008
The Lonely Death of the World's Tallest Woman
There's a fascinating and touching op-ed in the NY Times today about Sandy Allen, who died last week. She was the tallest woman in the world, standing at 7 feet, 7 and 1/4 inches tall. The author tells how she died alone in a convalescent home. Because of her size--brought on by gigantism, which caused her death--she could not work a normal job and never had a family of her own. In a former era, she could have made a living as a carnival attraction, but in our time she was the recipient of ridicule in tabloids and even Howard Stern. In spite of it all, she by all accounts remained friendly, positive and generous towards others no matter how rude they were. She was known for visiting school children and teaching them about how difference was good and then letting them try on her shoes.
I've saved the account to use as a future sermon illustration to demonstrate the power of grace towards others and the blessedness of the image of God in all the varieties of humanity.