Posted by: geolocke | 2017/11/13

Special Needs

I have several friends whose children have developmental or physical challenges. They are called Special Needs children these days, although there have been many less flattering names in the past. These children are “different” than the “norm” expected by society.  Their parents did not choose this in their wildest dreams, and yet here they are, and they are loved no less by their parents, or by God.

We all begin life the same, the joining of genetic material from woman and man, coming together with God’s spark of life. Most times this joining is accomplished through acts of love, but sometimes through lust, or in acts of hate and violence, or sometimes even in the sterile confines of a medical facility. But regardless of the circumstances under which it occurs, we are created at that instant, a new life beloved of God.

From that very instant, we begin to grow as our cells divide and multiply in number as we begin to take form. Rough shaped at first, little more than a blob, we soon show features recognizable as human traits, our head, our hands, fingers, toes, eyes and nose. Three weeks, six weeks, three months, six months, nine months spent within our mother’s womb, and then we emerge into the light of the world.

Sometimes these young fragile lives are ended before they can grow, develop and be born; Some through disease, some through accident or injury, some on purpose. It is a sad fact of our human condition that has occurred as long as we’ve been around. Yet God knows and loves these unborn children as much as God loves we who are born.

But being born is not a guarantee of continued life. We still need nurturing and care once we emerge from the womb. We are not born like some animals with a built in instinct for life and survival, like sea-turtles emerging from their shells on a sandy beach who head straight to the ocean. Indeed, the first several years of our lives are spent in near total dependence on the charity of others.

Slowly, as compared to the development of other creatures of God, we children learn to care for ourselves, but still with the help of others near us. But some children do not develop along the same pathways, the same timeline as most children. This can be due to illness or some unknown cause deep within them.

These children need more intensive forms of care and nurturing, and a greater spirit of Love from their caregivers. For some this extra level of care is needed for their entire lives because they are physically or mentally incapable of surviving without this extra outside help.

But if we really look at our own situation, can we honestly claim any fundamental difference in our own special needs?

Which of us have never found ourselves in need of some extra assistance at some point in our “grown up” lives? Which of us has not had to rely upon the help or guidance of family or a friend, a stranger, a neighbor, a mechanic, a teacher, a first responder, a doctor, or a pastor? Which of us have never found ourselves being asked to help someone else who was in need?

Which of us can honestly say that we have never, at some point in our life, whether we believe in God or not, turned our thoughts to the heavens above us and pleaded; “Lord I am lost, show me the way, save me!” and received an answer in the presence of someone who then comes into our life?

* * * * *

If we truly believe the words of Genesis, that we are all created in the image of God; female and male; with many shades and hues of skin and hair; with different heights, and shapes and deformities of body; the aged, those in mid-life, the young and those nursing and the unborn; with clear mental acuity or dull wit; every one of us needing to be loved by and attended upon by God and one another; we who are all children of God; can any of us be thought of as anything other than a special needs child?


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