Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Life Worth Living!


Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Luke 12:6, 7, NIV)

At church, I sat behind a father who was tenderly kissing the hand of his 20 year old son throughout the service. You see, his son is wheelchair-bound, non-verbal, but obviously, very loved. Though I often see his parents helping him as he coughs or wiping his mouth as he drools, I've never had the opportunity to witness his father fawning over him in such a way. It was quite moving to see this big, tough guy gently showing such concern for another person.

There's a lesson to be shared from this little vignette -- Our children with special needs have profound value in this world. Not only did this 20 year old boy impact his father in amazing ways, he also deeply affected any who would take even a second to notice their interaction. I would contend that there is a story just like this for each of our special children. Every time I go to the YMCA, Bill, who has Down Syndrome, cracks me up with his Elvis impersonations. David, who has multiple disabilities and is non-verbal, flirts with his favorite ladies by covering his face and blowing kisses. It always brings a smile! Edmund made every one's night when he came out of the shell of his autism and sang at the youth group event. The stories could go on and on.

Yet, there are individuals who are esteemed, popular, modern philosophers and bioethicists who would like to snuff out the very lives of every individual with a special need. In their twisted practice of the "new eugenics", they would maintain that the healthy family dog has more "rights" to exist than my newborn with hemophilia did. Despite the shocking dehumanization of people, these academics hold prestige, are highly sought as speakers and are widely read as authors. This ought to scare every person as much as those who witnessed the abhorrent acts of the Nazis! After all, we are each just 1 emergency room visit away from being disabled!

Equipped with God's Spirit and His promises, we are uniquely qualified to share the message that each person, even these misguided thinkers, has infinite value in God's economy. Children with special needs have immense purpose in life, although it may not be the traditional purpose the average person thinks of. My friend, special needs mom, Sarah, calls her son diff-abled because she realizes that his abilities lay in a different area than many others, and it shows! James is a joy to everyone he meets!

I tell these stories not to upset you, but to empower you. We need to have our eyes wide open to the pitfalls that may lay ahead for ourselves and our children. Our stories have the ability to transform hardened hearts. We also need to be motivated to share the stories of our "fearfully and wonderfully made" children to inspire our world. Some see the special need. God has given us parents the eyes to see the person. Some see only the sorrows & difficulties. We see the triumphs & joys! What powerful messages we have to share with a dark and hopeless world!

*For more information on bioethics, visit The Center for Bioethics & Culture at www.thecbc.org.

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