Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It Takes All Kinds

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. (1 Corinthians 12:14-26, NIV)

"Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards, upside down." So begins one of our favorite children's books written by Audrey Wood. In our home, however, Sally's name is replaced by the name of our youngest daughter, Sophie. Any who know our girl realizes how befitting the SILLY SALLY tale is with Sophie's name substituted for the main character.

You see, with her various diagnoses including ADHD, multiple severe allergies, and sensory issues, this young darling does not get to places in the typical fashion. When she reads, the pictures are so overstimulating and distracting that she stalls in the midst of the words just to fully examine every detail of the picture. Smart as a whip, she'll drive a person crazy trying to complete a sentence because she has to interrupt with so many off-the-beaten-path questions. And forget asking her to sit still through a book, a car ride, a church service or a meal!

But as she dances on my last remaining nerve, I realize that God has big plans for this precious little girl. The Lord created each of us in completely different ways, with such a variety of gifts in order to fill the many roles and purposes He has for each of us in life. What may appear as a disability to one person, may in fact be an area of extreme giftedness to another. Countless examples throughout history can be cited of individuals from Einstein and Beethoven to Whoopi Goldberg and Michael Phelps who offered unique contributions to society despite their various diagnoses.

It's on the days when I am feeling defeated and like I will never succeed at helping this child get control of that wildly impulsive behavior, that I need to remember "it takes all kinds". God's word assures me that each part of His Body, even those seemingly undesirable ones, are necessary. Her high-energy, athletic prowess, vivid imagination, terrific sense of humor and unending curiosity can be a blessing to those around her as she reaches adulthood. Her Creator loves her just the way she is and will refine her gifts for His good purposes. And along the way, it will take her to some amazing places in life.

Wood's cherished story ends, "And that's how Sally got to town, walking backwards, upside down." What's important is that the main character does arrive, as will each of our special children - no matter how colorful the journey! I, like every parent, need only to rest and trust in the Father's plan.

*SILLY SALLY by Audrey Wood, Copyright 1992, Published by Scholastic Inc., 555 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, by arrangement with Harcourt Brace and Company.

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