I read the following on a blog I follow:
This morning however, one friend with autism stood up, turned around, and shook hands with us, “Happy Easter!” he exclaimed, jumping up and down. He then ran down the aisle, shaking hands with everyone he could reach. As he made his way back to his seat he exploded with pride “Mom, I think I passed the peace!”
He certainly did.
– The author was describing an experience she had at church one morning with a child who is autistic and has trouble greeting others in the beginning of the service. The full post can be found here.
I have had similar experiences, not nessicarily with children who have special needs, but with special people in general.
Let me share the story of Sophie.
Sophie was a surprise baby to her high school sweet heart parents who thought they were done having children after their first three children. The youngest child was nine years older than Sophie. Sophie was born with a hole in her heart, missing bone in her left thumb and problems with her kidneys. Today Sophie is nine years old and has flourished in life. Her hand has been repaired so that she can use her thumb, her heart and kidneys have also been repaired and strengthened. When I come home from college I look forward to seeing Sophie at church, her bear hugs and having her sit with my family and me. I try to make it to one of soccer games or dance recitals a year, send her a birthday card and go out to lunch in the summer. The picture above was taken three years ago when Sophie was in Grand Rapids DeVos Children’s hospital for a procedure.
I believe that things happen for a reason and I have no doubt that Sophie’s parents drew tremendous strength from the support of our church during some of the rougher times with Sophie. I also have no doubt that she has taught everyone in her life what it means to be determined and strong, including me 🙂