Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Obstacles to Joy

One of my favorite little shops has had this hanging on their wall for a couple of years. I have watched it, asked about it and pondered where I would put it for that long! Finally, I purchased it last week. I can not wait to hang it. I need the reminder every now and again. You know?

This weekend was one such time: the differences of our family do not always shout at me. Some days I forget that all families don't have a sweet boy in a wheelchair, or one that uses crutches. Many days I feel sorry for those that don't.

But some days, we are hit over the head with our differences. And I have to tell you that those days are painful.

When the kids were small, it was Wade and I that took the brunt of the punch -- adults uncomfortable around our family because of the boys; comments about why they weren't walking yet as toddlers; invitations by well-meaning friends whose homes were completely inaccessible to us.

I have to say we also had some blessings -- a little girl who asked her apartment manager to build a ramp so Benjamin could come play at her home. She lived on the THIRD FLOOR!  A Daddy who would meet me at the bottom step of their condominium and carry Benjamin all the way up to their home so he could play with their son, who adored both boys.  We are so grateful that the blessings of this journey far outweigh the pain. Far outweigh!

And yet, the pain is still all too present. And today, the boys have to bear far more than Wade and I do. This weekend, a teen aged boy made a completely hurtful comment about Benjamin to Mason. Right in front of Benjamin. We think this boy has some possible special issues of his own, that just might not be visible. And for that, we want to be kind, compassionate and tolerant. But this was the third time he has zinged Benjamin. And I have to tell you that his words hurt my child.  And thereby broke my heart.

The temptation is to drive into our garage and close the door behind us. The temptation is to gather my little ducks close and never leave our home. The temptation -- and I'm being completely honest here -- is to jerk a knot in the young man's hair.

But if we hide, we might miss the pain. But we will miss the blessings, too. I don't want that. And frankly, I know God uses my kids to touch the lives of others. I do not want to lock them away from pain and know I prevented God from being able to use them.

So, I'll keep on keeping on. I'll try and educate along the way. I'll try to empower my kids to do the same. And I'll pray mightily that all we come in contact with will see the glory of God!

Can I encourage you to come along side me in educating others? Can you help spread the word that we are not contagious. Your children will not "catch" Cerebral Palsy by inviting our family to your home or by coming to our's. But what is contagious is your attitude as adults. Your children are watching you and if you are uncomfortable around my family, you better believe you are teaching your children to be uncomfortable, too.

Thank you dear friends. We do have a wonderful life -- a blessing from God.


GreenGirl said...

We love you all and appreciate your perspective and insight. Thank God for the jems in this world and please help the rocks to see the light.

Kris said...

Thank you for sharing that post. Sorry you guys had to deal with such an issue. Your attitude is so great, so keep doing what your doing. :)