Joni Eareckson Tada's story has become legend: On July 30, 1967, the athletic 17-year-old dived into the Chesapeake Bay, striking a submerged rock, crushing her spine. Instantly, she was a quadriplegic.
In the preface of her book Joni, written almost eight years after the accident, she wrote, "I have found that God knows my needs infinitely better than I know them. And he is utterly dependable, no matter which direction our circumstances take us."
Little could she know which direction God would take her. Today, twenty-eight years after her accident, Joni is a painter, writer, singer, speaker, advocate, executive, and Christian leader. She heads JAF Ministries, a parachurch organization located in Agoura Hills, California, that advocates the cause of, and ministers to, those with disabilities.
From her first book Joni to her recent release Heaven, Joni has grappled with the inexorable issues of purpose in pain and suffering. In Joni, she declared, "Pain and suffering have purpose." A few years ...1