"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion & the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) A daily devotional especially intended to offer compassion to other challenged parents of kids with special needs. Visit our home page at www.snappin.org!
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Please Hear Me
Bend down, O LORD, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need
your help. Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and
trust you. You are my God. Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you
constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you. (Psalms 86:1-4
Thunder sleet in July! This Fourth of July my husband and I traveled to Colorado
Springs for a half marathon and a break from the Texas heat. We got it! After the race, we visited the Air Force
Academy, exploring the chapel and watching cadets in boot camp training out in
the plaza. I found myself wondering whose sons and daughters they are and what their futures hold. Where will they go? How will they serve?
This time of year I can’t help but think of the folks who
are serving, or have served, in the military. I appreciate greatly the freedoms
that their sacrifices give to our country. We recently listened to a TED Talk
by Afghan war veteran Wes Moore talking about the experiences of veterans
returning from war. In his talk, he mentions how he used to say to soldiers, “Thank
you for your service,” because he thought it sounded right. He came to realize
that what veterans really need is for someone to hear their story, to
understand what they experienced. Per Wes, often veterans feel ignored and the
message they get is that their service didn't matter.
They feel invisible.
Sound familiar? I never thought before of the connection between veterans
and being a special needs parent, but it is most certainly there. People say
things meaning well, “What a blessing!” or “God won’t give you more than you
can handle.” To them it sounds right because they feel the need to say
something, but to my ears it is not helpful.
What is more helpful is the person who sees beyond behaviors to the
family, sees beyond diagnosis to the people, and then takes the time hear the
story. The simple request of, “Tell me about your week,” sure is much more
helpful and meaningful. We don’t need a knight in shining armor to ride in and fix it. We
just want someone to listen and care that what we do is hard and what we do
I’ve learned in years of ministry with special needs
families that when a parent asks, “Do you have some time?” that means they have
a story they need to share. I used to feel the need to offer solutions, which I
do still do from time to time if I have a resource at hand that I think would
be helpful. Mostly, they need me to sit and listen and pray for them. There
is healing simply in being heard.
PRAY: Holy God, Thank you for your ever present faithfulness. We
know when we pray that you hear us. Always. Thank you for he the healing power
in that gift. Amen.