Juggler of words and children…collector of pottery shards
Each Sunday I attend the early service of my church but it is in the second service that God teaches me one on one. In the second hour I attend children’s church, buddying with a special needs child. Time and again as I hold them near, help them in their weaknesses, guide them in praise, and sometimes protect them from the stares of the more “perfect” children, God whispers gently to me-
“Look, my child and I will show you what matters to me. Listen, and I will tell you what is of eternal value.”
Last Sunday, I cared for a young Down’s syndrome child. He is non-verbal; a sweet and cuddly child who prefers to simply fill a bucket with blocks and empty it over and again.
During the children’s worship service, I held him close and when the other children lifted their hands in praise I lifted his as well. He grew still, and very quiet.
I have buddied with this little guy before and honestly, his interactions are pretty limited. He cuddles. He plays with blocks. There is no eye contact. No laughter. No crying or rage. But this day, he broke the pattern as the children reached the portion of their worship song which rang, “Jesus is so good to me! Jesus is so good to me!”
As these words filled the air, he pulled his hands from mine and began to clap with fervent purpose, passionate joy.
I watched his little face, upturned toward heaven, and realized how little those of us more perfect know. We assume the limits of another’s experience and understanding because they don’t speak our language, move in our realm. Who is to say that the silence of this little boy’s life has not been one extended internal conversation with the Holy? Perhaps in the day when the temporal gives way to the eternal those of us who have lived busy and productive lives will find that this little one who spent a lifetime of simply listening knows The Ancient of Days best of all.
“Christianity preaches the unending worth of the apparently worthless and the unending worthlessness of what is apparently so valuable. The weak shall be made strong through God and the dying shall live…” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer