“He’ll never be more than a vegetable. Put him in an institution”

These were the words spoken to Rick Hoyt’s parents by several doctors after the birth of their son in 1962. The umbilical cord had become twisted around Rick’s neck at birth, causing a blockage of oxygen flow, resulting in cerebral palsy, making the brain unable to communicate to the muscles.

An institution seemed the logical solution, but Rick’s parents noticed that his eyes followed them around the room. Surely this meant something? They took Rick to the Children’s Hospital in Boston where a doctor encouraged them to treat Rick as normal.

Rick’s mother spent hours each day teaching Rick the alphabet using sandpaper letters and posting signs on every object in the house. In a short amount of time, Rick learned the alphabet. At 11 years old, his parents’ persistence enabled Rick to be fitted with a computer which enabled him to communicate. It soon became clear that Rick was intelligent even though he couldn’t walk or talk. He attended public school and went on to graduate from Boston University in 1993 with a degree in special education.

When Rick was 15 he was inspired by an article on racing
he saw in a magazine
and Team Hoyt was born.

Rick’s father Dick was then 37 years old and was not a runner, but he was inspired when, after their first race, with Dick pushing Rick in a wheelchair, Rick communicated via his computer, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”  Then Dick began running every day with a bag of cement in the wheelchair because Rick was at school studying, unable to train with him.

The father and son combination competed in
more than a thousand endurance events,
including 68 marathons
and six Ironman triathlons.
* They ran the Boston Marathon 26 times.*
They also competed in triathlons
with Rick sitting in a boat for the swim portion,
and Dick pulling him in the boat
with a rope attached to his body.
For the cycle portion of the triathlon,
Rick rides in a specially designed tandem bike.

Dick and Rick have also biked and run across the U.S.  Dick’s also pulled him cross-country skiing and taken him on his back Mountain climbing.

We marvel at a father’s love for his son and his commitment to him.
Just think of what would have become of Rick had he been left in an institution. He now lives a valuable life, using his talents to teach in handicapped education.


I hate to think of what would have become of me
had I been left in the institution of the world, under the power of the devil,
going his way, with no power of resistance.
[Ephesians 2:1-3]

[Ephesians 2:4]

My loving heavenly Father,
even though I had no thought for Him,
in His mercy and love, made me alive in Christ.
and placed me into His kingdom [Colossians 1:13]
adopting me into His own family
and making me a joint heir with Christ. [Romans 8:15-17] 
(What an amazing God!)


For the last 53 of my 75 years He pulled me and pushed me and carried me through many trials and even ‘marathons’. He has been my Guide, my Instructor, my Challenger, my Corrector, my Encourager, my Refuge,
my Rock . . . my Everything. 

Rick Hoyt was totally dependent on his father and yet Rick says he felt he was actually running the race, every step, every swim stroke.

I am totally dependent on my heavenly Father, and yet He allows me to accomplish the ‘impossible’ as He works in me and through me to achieve in His service.

What more can I say, other than

“What an amazing Father God!”

About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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17 Responses to HOPELESS?

  1. Ann says:

    Thank you, Angela
    The first time I saw this, I cried. It was set to Nicole Mullen’s My Redeemer and was shown in our home church. Many cried that day.

    On our own we can do nothing. How great and mighty is the God we serve. The Father who makes the impossible possible. I am thankful that His ways are higher than my ways, and that I can trust Him to take me through and past all the impossibilities.

    Blessings much,


    • Thank you so much for inserting that video. I didn’t know it was on video. It is an amazing story of a human father’s love, but also tells of the greatest love of all – that of our Redeemer.

      We do serve a God of the impossible who wants to do the impossible through us. May we always be open to His call and ready to obey – whenever, whatever, wherever.


  2. pbus1 says:

    Hi Angela,

    What an absolutely beautiful story of a father’s unconditional love for his child! It is obvious why you would use this story to cause us to reflect upon the unconditional love our Savior has for us, as well as our utter and complete dependence upon Him! I realize how unworthy of God’s love I am, yet He loves me still! Praise God!!! Thank you for sharing this message, Angela! God bless!



    • In the words of Stuart Townend:
      “How deep the Father’s love for us; how vast beyond all measure”

      Paulette, I agree. We could never express the greatness of our Father’s love – but one day we will praise Him completely, with no distractions. What a wonderful day that will be!

      What an amazing Father God!


  3. Freedomborn says:

    Hi Angela I really love this message when Ron comes back I will share it with him, we are indeed to be as Children with our Abba Father not fearful or doughting His Love, He wants the very best for us and equipes and strenghens us when needed, how wonderful is our God of Love and in Christ Jesus we are not disabled but complete.

    As promised I found out about copyrite Laws on the Translations of the Bible, for you Angela, they have changed since I checked them a few years ago although most are still under under copyrite we can use up to 500 Scriptures in most other Translations some more without consent but we must state the source and not use a whole book . I still prefer to use the K.J.V as it is complete and accurate and we can tell this is True because Scriptuer confirms other Scriptures.

    Also after finding an important verse of Scripture had been changed in the New N.I.V I wrote to them because even though they claimed their first Translation was without a doubt a 1OO% accurate and the only one we could Trust they had now changed some of it, but they did not reply .. The Holy Spirit does not change His mind and what He tells us never contradicts what He has told us before, even though He does reveal new Truth when needed.

    We need to remember just because something is old does not make it obsolete, in Truth it is often more valuable and just because something is new does not make it better but also both of these statements can be reversed, we need to ask Jesus to show us error He is our only Teacher.

    Christian Love Anne.


    • Thanks Anne. The copyright is pretty much as I thought. I prefer the KJV myself as apart from being the most accurate, it is MUCH easier to memorise, possibly because it is different and more like poetry than harder-to-remember prose.

      While I prefer the KJV for myself, I also have several others and use them for study purposes. I have been very strongly involved in children’s ministry for many decades. A strong point of that ministry is Scripture memorisation. Many of the children were not the most intelligent and using the KJV was almost a foreign language to them. However, since the KJV is easier to remember I continued with it but allowed the change of Thee, Thou, hadst, couldest, shouldest, ye, hath, etc to the modern equivalent.

      Likewise, when quoting Scripture here, I often use KJV but change the ancient words to the modern equivalent. When I quote the Amplified for an expanded explanation, I always mention it is the Amplified version.


  4. Heather says:

    This is such a beautiful reflection on the never failing, all sufficient love of our heavenly Father!

    Thank you, Angela, for this encouraging reminder that He is always my source of strength :)


  5. Vina Kent says:

    Reblogged this on .


  6. Rob Barkman says:

    What a wonderful picture of our dependence upon the Lord for everything. Being totally reliant on Him as we run the “race that is set before us” is one of the keys to being victorious! Lord bless you for the God-honoring post (and entire blog) Rob


    • Thanks Rob. While some would consider total dependence or surrender as a bad and restrictive thing, we who have experienced the Lord’s undertaking and guidance KNOW it is the best way.
      The part that struck me is that Rick, though incapable, FELT he was actually running and he shared the victory . . . just like our Father allows us to feel achievement and share HIS victory.
      What an amazing God!


  7. snowgood says:

    I saw the you tube videos on Team Hoyt, it’s quite remarkable. How am I showing my love today?


    • I can’t watch videos on my computer – well, I can, but only a couple of seconds at a time. Buffering takes ‘forever’.
      Hopefully we will show the love of Christ wherever we go to whomever we meet.


  8. Debbie says:

    Dear Mentor Angela . . .I LOVE this story and how it relates to our amazing Father God and all He does for us, so we feel like we are running too and flying . . .and it’s all Him! What mercy , grace and love! God bless you and thank you for touching us so deeply for Him and giving Him all the glory all the time! love and prayers!


    • Thanks Debbie
      As I read of Dick & Rick Hoyt I couldn’t help but compare Dick’s love for his son to that of my Father for me. He does EVERYTHING for hopeless me – and makes me feel as though I am doing it! Amazing love! but all glory to Him.


  9. admin says:

    Thanks for the beautiful story of a father’s love. God is the best father!


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