Monday, November 22, 2010

loving the special ones.

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak...

Psalm 41.1

the past few weeks have been very trying on my spirit, for reasons i cannot legally explain.  it is hard being with disabled children in public school as a contracted worker, knowing that the public education system growls at any form of affection.

in the various situations i've worked in, i have had conversations with teachers, and even parents (!) who warn me never to have children ("then again, work with these kids - instant birth control!").  sometimes they talk about abortion.  sometimes they say they wish they aborted that child (yes, that very child sitting there, with a name, a darling face, and a distinct personality).  Hassles!  they say.  Painful!  they say.  oh the time and money put into this child with no future!  ahh my heart, it aches....

this is their great argument against me, a believer in God- "any god," they would add.  the very famous question, What's their purpose?  What are they good for?

i despise that question.
and granted, i am not the one with all the answers.
but having been around different diagnoses, controlling tantrums for 6 hours every day, redirecting a distracted focus every 30 seconds, hushing disruptive noises, changing diapers, and probably being the only person in the world the child trusts to tell the harmful things the child saw or experienced....

all i know is that they teach us how to love.

they teach us how to love!!  oh how the fruit of the Spirit must ripen within you!  to be patient, to be kind, to control your anger, to be gentle.  to suffer long.  to be at peace.  to be joyful!- because maybe you are the only true joy they will ever know! when there is no other safe place, you become a safe place- you must carry a joy!  you learn true joy.  you learn to love.  and you learn to be faithful. because they've seen unfaithfulness, and when you get angry and they use that to authenticate that "everybody hates me, they're all going to leave," you want to prove them wrong.. not to spite them, but only because you love them, and you are a safe place...

yes.  they teach us how to love.

a love, i assure you, i am still learning daily.
but then goes the thought, should not everybody teach us how to love? absolutely. yes, they should.  except it is a much trickier route to learn love via the most-everybody-else group. because, what we call "love" is more often an economy: giving to receive.  it's very different with the special ones.  most of them cannot help how they respond to you.  they cannot return to you a love that validates every sacrifice you have made for them.  perhaps you've invested your resting, your resources, your sanity for the sake of putting the child at ease.  and in return, they may bite, scratch, throw tantrums.. some are nonverbal, some need total physical assistance.  some are completely verbal and physically able, but their issue is mere delinquency.  and how much will you love, then?

oh it's so easy to take it personal!  their tantrums make you feel like a failure, their angry words make you question your inability to raise children.  you offer every proven incentive, and they cry helplessly, unable to communicate their needs and desires.. and in that moment, how much will you love them?

they are special.  you sacrifice yourself, with no incentive but the sake of a Father's Love, with no reward but knowing you can give Love. and after you have toiled this ground, you shall see the fruit of the Spirit grow bountifully within you.

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'

-Paul, Acts 20.35

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1.27

My student and I made this together.


currently listening: Will Reagan & United Pursuit Band - Live at Bank's House
* do yourself a favor and get this album.  and yes, i do realize that it seems i am always "currently" listening to upb, but what can i say, the Spirit speaks through them!

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