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A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

Learning the language of love

Often people with intellectual disabilities may have a language barrier.  Even though she is high functioning and can do almost any job, Teena’s language is muddled and confused.  She speaks her word-phrases backwards.  For most of her life, she has remained mutely silent because she understands that people can’t always interpret the twisted way her words flow from her brain into her mouth.

Yet, in the past year, because of her love for the Lord, Teena has been released from her chains of fear and doubt and she now communicates with the people she trusts, especially during the discussions in her Bible class.  Teena is a leader at The Special Gathering which is ministry within the mentally challenged community.  Our mission is evangelism and discipleship.

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The Arc is a national organization that provides various services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Yesterday, as I visited the Wahiawa Arc, I saw in Renee Subee, the manager, and her staff, the language of love at work. “Jon,” Renee encouraged one of the consumers, “show us your birds.”  Jon went to his box and pulled out a maticulously and beautifully cut paper hawk.  “Jon does these birds without a pattern.  They are all cut freehand.”  Then taking the bird, he positioned it around his fingers and caused the bird to fly.  The grace of his large gentle fingers made you see the hawk in graceful flight.  “We’ve tried to make the birds fly as Jon does; but we can’t do it.  He is an artist,” Renee bragged.

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Then Jon took the bird.  He gave it to Renee and motioned for her to keep it.  Renee clutched it to her heart.  “For me?  You are REALLY giving this to me?”  Jon smiled slightly and sat back down in his chair.  Renee said to me, “Jon doesn’t give his birds away.  I’m the first.”  Jon peeked from his work toward Renee and almost awarded us with another smile.

No words needed to be spoken to hear the shouts of love, acceptance, gratitude, beauty and grace resounding in the room.

The Arc in Wahiawa, Hawaii is a secular program.  They don’t claim to be Christian or Christ centered but it is clear that the language of love is spoken here.

Previous Posts

Explaining Grace
In the past weeks, I’ve been going over some of the key words in our covenant relationship with God with the members of my community who are intellectually disabled.  Perhaps one of the most important words we use is grace. Most of us have ...

posted 5:55:58am Jan. 06, 2015 | read full post »

Holidays and grief
Today, I heard again the Christmas song about the little boy whose mother is dying on Christmas eve and he wants to buy her shoes to wear as she goes into heaven. He doesn’t have enough money to buy the shoes and a person in line gives him the ...

posted 8:29:32am Jan. 01, 2015 | read full post »

Can You Come?
Maddie is one of those people within the mentally challenged community whom everyone loves.  She is friendly and happy.  Maddie makes everyone feel as though they are her "extra-special friend."  Several years ago Mattie and her husband ...

posted 12:20:34am Dec. 29, 2014 | read full post »

The Choice that Changed Everything--a sermon for the mentally challenged community
The choice that changed everything Nehemiah 9:17 Central Theme: Man choices to sin and God chooses to be gracious. A ream of paper has 500 sheets--not more and not less. A foot is 12 inches--not more and not less. There are many absolutes in ...

posted 10:48:30pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Friendship Evangelism
For many years, I taught a seminar called "Friendship Evangelism."  The basis of this teaching was that people are much more susceptible to hear the promises of the Gospel, if they know and respect you.  We all have a knowledge of the ...

posted 9:12:04am Aug. 16, 2014 | read full post »

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