A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

Wild hog and wolf wars are raging across the US.  In Central Florida, we understand the wild hog problem that is plaguing the South.  A good friend bought what seemed like an idyllic, secluded piece of acreage about five years ago.  They built a wonderful group home with an equestrian bend.  However, they didn’t understand that their land–like much of the Southern woodland–is overly populated with wild hogs.  Because of the vigilance of the owners of the home, the hogs have not terrorized the family of mentally challenged individuals living in the house.  Yet, the potential exists.

In the western part of our country, the US Fish and Wildlife Service repopulated the northwestern states in the late 1990’s with gray wolves hoping to improve the eco-system.  As a result the wolf population has thrived and there are currently approximately 1,645 gray wolves and 217 packs roaming the region.  They, too, have become a problem to the ecology. In the article published in the March 2010, entitled, “Wolf Wars,” National Geographic reported that the return of the wolves has changed everything in the northwestern states, including the microbiology of the soil.  Killing coyotes, the wolves are altering the existing eco-system in ways that may not be beneficial.  Wolves are again a threat to humans; they have killed several hikers in the past years.

At times, people don’t understand what harm we are doing by our actions.  Humans killed off all the wolves, which was a bad thing.  However, their protection has caused perhaps even greater damage.

Using abortion, many people assumed that we would soon eliminate the birth of people who are mentally challenged.  This appeared to be a good thing to many medical professionals and others who had fought for the right to have an abortion.  Twenty years ago, when Cheryl’s baby was found to have a clef lip, she was severely pressured by her doctors to have an abortion because developmental disabilities often accompany a clef lip.  The family resisted and even had to change doctors three times before finding an MD who would deliver their child.  As it happened, the young man is brilliant and the lip was surgically repaired at a young age.

Because of fetal alcohol syndrome, AID’s-related disabilities, and disabilities within the autism spectrum (ASD), developmental disabilities have not disappeared.  In fact, it is estimated and reported by National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke a part of  National Institute of Health ”three to six children out of every 1,000 will have ASD.  Males are four times more likely to have ASD than females.”  This is a much larger portion of the population that those children carrying the Down’s syndrome gene.

Parents and those who work within the mentally challenged community understand the amazing blessings our population brings to the world.  Whether you are a Christian or not, the blessings of our population have been chronicled again and again.  Of course, there are adjustments and great grief when a child is born with disabilities.  At times, life is harder than parents could ever imagine.  However, the blessings overwhelm the obvious harm.

As a minister within the mentally challenged community, I repeatedly emphasize to our members how much they can be used by the Lord.  The important fact that God can use all of us gives each of us permanent value in who we are.  Christianity is unique in our approach to the Lord.  Jesus taught us that all people have great value to God and He loves us unconditionally.  This Holy Week teaches us God great sacrifice for us.

Photos:  Wild Boar by Sivio DSouza and Wolf by Arrr!

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