Today, there was a story about a family of three children who were found neglected in their apartment. Their mother is a drug addict.
The youngest child is 5 years old; he was wearing a dirty diaper, and covered in lice. He weighs just 15 lbs.
He has Down syndrome.
On another message board, I’ve read posts tonight contemplating God. If there was a God, how could He have allowed this to happen? How could an all-knowing, all-loving God let this happen to our most vulnerable?
An incident such as this surely disputes the phrase that parents of children with special needs often hear…”God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle,” “God only gives special children to special parents.”
Let’s get it straight. Right now.
You are not special because you are the parent of a child with special needs. You are not special because you are a parent of any child for that matter.
You are not special because you are tall or thin or pretty or even smart.
God has not forsaken anyone; nor has He caused anything horrible to happen to this family.
He handed this woman the opportunity to change her life. Three times. Over and over and over He slapped her into reality, begging her to get her act together; to learn a simple lesson from her children…that they deserve to be welcomed and celebrated and cherish.
The third time He sent her an even greater wake up call. A reminder that she needed to humble herself, and see this child for his intrinsic beauty.
Over and over again, He told her to smarten up, to get her act together.
Yet, she chose not to.
You are special simply because you chose to listen. You are special because, when given an opportunity to see God in His finest glory, you have done that, simply by looking in your child’s eyes and seeing perfection.
You chose to sacrifice when it is necessary and celebrate when it is apparent.
You chose to care for your children, to advocate for them; to nurture them.
Simply bearing a child does not give you the right to be special. It is not a gift given to you freely, without responsibility. You have to earn it. Every single day.
It won’t always be easy. But in His infinite wisdom, He will teach you lessons even when its difficult.
My heart aches for the children I read about today. I pray that these children will find homes where their parents have listened and heard His message…I hope that today is the first day of new lives for them.
Although these are lessons that no child should have to learn, I pray that these children can become messengers; that somewhere someone is living next door to another careless mother and that they will make that call that will save those children too.
I hope that some social worker who may tonight be contemplating the safety of a family will chose caution, and lead those children to a safe spot.
I hope that some family who has been praying for a baby with Down syndrome will hear this story and become the hero for this tiny little boy who was found today.
Perhaps this story will shake the heart of someone who is tonight contemplating abortion of an unborn child with Down syndrome, and she will realize how precious all human life is.
Perhaps it’s a reminder for all of us that we need to pay attention, and to cherish the gifts we have been given.
Choose to be special. Please.