Thursday, December 08, 2005

For That Special Child - To those who love the Mentally Retarded

I don't know where this came from, but I received it in an e-mail a couple of years ago. I just re-read it, and wanted to post it as-is for your encouragement. Oh, that we could all be this handicapped. God bless...


God Lives Under The Bed

My brother Kevin thinks God lives
under his bed. At least that's
what
I heard him say one night.
He was praying out loud in his dark
bedroom, and I stopped outside
his
closed door to listen. "Are you
there, God?"
he said. "Where are
you? Oh, I see. Under the bed." I
giggled
softly and tiptoed off
to
my own room.
Kevin's unique perspectives are
often a source of amusement. But
that
night something else lingered long
after the humor. I realized for
the first time the very different
world Kevin lives in.
He was born 30 years ago, mentally
disabled as a result of
difficulties during labor. Apart
from his size (he's 6-foot-2),
there
are few ways in which he is an
adult. He reasons and communicates
with the capabilities of a
7-year-old, and he always will. He will
probably always believe that God
lives under his bed, that Santa
Claus
is the one who fills the space under
our tree every Christmas, and
that airplanes stay up in the sky
because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin
realizes he is different. Is he ever
dissatisfied with his
monotonous life?
Up before dawn each day, off to work
at a workshop for the
disabled,
home to walk our cocker spaniel,
return to eat his favorite
macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and
later to bed.
The only variation in the entire
scheme are laundry, when he hovers
excitedly over the washing
machine
like a mother with her newborn
child. He does not seem
dissatisfied.
He lopes out to the bus every morning
at 7:05, eager for a day of simple
work. He wrings his hands
excitedly while the water
boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice
a
week to gather our
dirty
laundry for his next day's
laundry chores.
And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of
Saturdays! That's the day my Dad
takes
Kevin to the airport to have a soft
drink, watch the planes land, and
speculate loudly on the
destination
of each passenger inside. "That
one's goin' to Chi-car-go!" Kevin
shouts as he claps his hands.
His anticipation is so great he can
hardly sleep on Friday nights.
And so goes his world of daily
rituals
and weekend field trips. He doesn't
know what it means to be
discontent. His life is simple. He
will never know the
entanglements
of wealth of power, and he does not
care what brand of clothing he
wears or what kind of food he
eats.
His needs have always been met, and
he never worries that one day
they
may not be.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is
never so happy as when he is
working.
When he unloads the dishwasher or
vacuums the carpet, his heart is
completely in it. He does not shrink
from a job when it is begun,
and
he does not leave a job until it is
finished. But when his tasks
are
done, Kevin knows how to relax. He
is not obsessed with his work
or
the work of others. His heart is
pure. He still believes everyone
tells the truth,
promises must be kept, and when you
are wrong, you apologize
instead
of argue. Free from pride and
unconcerned with appearances, Kevin
is
not afraid to cry when he is hurt,
angry or sorry. He is always
transparent, always sincere. And he
trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual
reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he
comes as a child. Kevin seems to
know God - to really be friends
with
Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated"
person to grasp.
God seems like his closest companion.
In my moments of doubt and
frustrations with my Christianity, I
envy
the security Kevin has in his simple
faith. It is then that I am
most
willing to admit that he has some
divine knowledge that rises above
my
mortal questions. It is then I
realize that perhaps he is not the
one
with the handicap - I am.
My obligations, my fear, my pride,
my
circumstances - they all
become
disabilities when I do not trust them
to God's care. Who knows if Kevin
comprehends things I can never
learn?
After all, he has spent his whole
life in that kind of innocence,
praying after dark and soaking up
the goodness and love of God.
And
one day, when the mysteries of
heaven are opened, and we are all
amazed at how close God really is to
our hearts, I'll realize that
God
heard the simple prayers of a boy
who believed that God lived under
his bed. Kevin won't be
surprised at all!
When you receive this, say a prayer.
Prayer is one of the best
free
gifts we receive. There is no cost,
but a lot of rewards.
FRIENDS ARE ANGELS WHO LIFT US TO
OUR FEET WHEN OUR WINGS HAVE
TROUBLE
REMEMBERING HOW TO FLY

7 Comments:

At December 08, 2005 11:29 AM, Blogger TheOzz said...

That is an uplifting story. Thank you for sharing.

Hank O
The Land of Ozz
Fellow member of Christian Bloggers Ring

 
At December 08, 2005 11:52 AM, Blogger Nin said...

Wow, that was beautiful. I have a handicapped nephew who has C.P.
We aren't so lucky to see him talk and have fun. But I say 'we aren't so lucky' because it takes faith on our part to know that his spirit is very much alive, in more ways than ours have ever tasted. Sometimes that faith is quenched with reason and intellegence, others days not. It's been a journey for all of us. But I know that when he groans or laughs, his spirit is talking, and the word says that the spirit groans, when there are no words.
Romans 8:26
"In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express."
My nephews spirit is allot more awake and alert than allot of ours. You're right, there's is so much to learn from these special individuals, if we let them.
Blessings

 
At December 08, 2005 11:55 AM, Blogger Sue said...

Wow Nin, that was an excellent testimony. Thanks so much for sharing, and for giving that scripture reference yet-another layer of meaning. God bless your heart.

Hank, thanks for your comment, and for your encouragement.

God bless you both.

 
At December 10, 2005 12:52 AM, Blogger Crystal said...

Thanks Sue.......that's a great story. One of my cousin's is special and I love his spirit. He is always happy, never hung up on the little stuff. I always get a huge hug from him and I don't always understand what he says but when he prays....WOW.....its like being near someone with a direct connection with God.

 
At December 11, 2005 10:04 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I believe that mentally handicapped people, and animals too actually, have a special connection with God that those of us encumbered with an ability to "think" will never understand. Thanks for sharing your experience with your cousin. I pray there's a way we can all get in touch with our "special" side. God bless, Sue.

 
At December 12, 2005 9:32 PM, Blogger Phil said...

That is a great story that really makes me think. I can certainly use it in Sunday School sometime soon. Thanks

 
At December 16, 2005 5:34 PM, Blogger Gina Burgess said...

Beautiful story, Sue. I loved it!

 

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