I often ponder how to talk to my children about others with disabilities. I pray for their hearts to be tender and loving, and their eyes to see the beauty beneath the surface. Tonight, I had a chance to witness their responses to these precious ones, and my heart is still reeling from the moment.
One friend in church is wheelchair bound. He came over to speak with us, and one of my boys looked at him and said, “Boy do I wish I could have a wheelchair like yours.” My heart stopped. This particular boy of mine tends to be a bit of a loose cannon when he opens his mouth. As I was thinking of how to do damage control, he continues, “My brothers and I would have so much fun on that thing! I bet it goes really fast!” I dared peer at the man’s reaction, and he was beaming! Someone (nevermind that it was a precocious 5 year old) was actually jealous of him! He started telling us all of the awesome ‘specs’ of his chair as my boy listened in awe. No longer was he a disabled man, suddenly, he was transformed into an object of desire and envy. My son has good eyes.
Another friend who has been given autism, was bending down wanting Lydia to shake his hand. This friend is special to me. His love for Jesus puts me to shame. Every single Sunday, he gets up earlier than maybe anyone else in our 2,000 plus congregation. He walks miles to the grocery store to pick up our order of donuts and chocolate milk for the ones who work on the bus ministry. Then, he carries the boxes of donuts and milk across 4 lanes of traffic and walks it to church. Why? Because he wants to be a blessing. Because he loves the bus ministry. Because he loves Jesus.
So when this boy/man stretched out his hand to my little one, I waited with baited breath to see what she would do. I saw her hesitate, and before I had a chance to encourage her, I saw my sweet, quiet son nod and whisper to her, and slip his small hand into that of our friends, to show her he is a friend. He then took her hand in his and slipped it into our friend’s hand. The smile on our friend’s face could have lit up the room, but it undoubtedly lit up my heart. My son has good eyes.
We chatted a bit after that. We chatted about how much he loves Jesus. From what I can ascertain, his family has very little to do with him, but he has found the love in a Father that will never leave him nor forsake him. He is a good son to that Father. He inspires me to love Him more. I want to have eyes that see the beauty in these dear ones, beauty that was given to them by a Father that loves them, beauty that is worth beholding. I want to have good eyes.