This article was written by Bev Linder. Enjoy!
Yesterday in Colorado was a fine sunny Saturday with garage sale signs on just about every corner. I resisted most of them, but after my walk, I went to investigate one up a steep drive. The man hosting it had hundreds of CD’s displayed because he had transferred all the music to his computer and no longer needed the discs. He gave me a tour through the Joni Mitchell section, the classics, Christian music, Bob Dylan, Glenn Miller, you name it, he had it.
After a while, an electric wheelchair appeared at the edge of the garage. The young woman seated there was very obviously greatly disabled. I ventured to ask, “Who’s that?” He answered, “That’s my daughter, Sarah.” “Will Sarah know if I say hi to her?” I asked. He told me Sarah was deaf (on top of everything else) and showed me the motion to make that she would recognized as “hi Sarah.” So I stood in front of her and rolled my knuckles over my cheek (the sign for Sarah) and waved hi. As Sarah tried to respond, all I could hear was a kind of snoring sound, but she offered me a smile.
Having so recently lost my son Brad to heaven, I looked at Sarah and began to imagine what she will be like when God transforms her severely handicapped body and changes it to the resurrected body that awaits all believers. (Was Sarah a believer? I don’t know the mystery of it all, but it is my guess that someone like Sarah will be admitted to heaven much like a young child who dies before they are accountable.)
I strained to see the person who lived inside. I could only detect a very slight glimpse, yet I know and believe with all my heart that there is a person in there–beautiful, strong, able, talented, and made to worship her Creator forever.
Who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory (Philippians 3:21)
Later, her dad said to me, “She’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” He didn’t offer any further explanation than that, and I didn’t ask.
But when I saw a couple people walk around Sarah as if she were an inanimate object like a fence post, I wondered if I would do the same if I hadn’t had the children that I did. Is that perhaps what her dad meant when he indicated that she was the best thing that ever happened to him? Did he mean that through his daughter, he has gotten eyes to see beyond the surface of people, of circumstances, of life?
As I drove away, I could see Sarah following my car with her eyes and smiling.
There’s a person in there. Whether our kids are “normal,” or have autism, or cognitive challenges, or physical disability, or learning challenges, or self-control issues–there’s an eternal person in there who was made to glorify God and who has the capacity to do so for all of eternity. May God give us all eyes to see it.
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