Years ago, I was walking alone through the big city park near downtown.
I think I was feeling a bit tired, not so much tired physically as mentally and emotionally, just “down”.
Then, as I walked, I noticed: way across the green fields, a school bus far in the distance, on the other side of the park. It had just pulled up, and the children were getting off and making their way to tables and campsites. I couldn’t make out much about them, not even their age, because they were so far away. But I was walking in their direction, so I kept them in view as I got closer and closer.
The strange thing about them, so I first thought, was that instead of straggling out one by one, they all seemed to be walking in twos and threes, close together.
And then I got close enough to realize: the bus was from the special school, and all the children were Down’s syndrome children or other special needs children, and some were physically handicapped.
So none of them walked alone. Each one had at least one special companion, and maybe two, to help them, and to help one another along the way.
Each one was leaning on his or her friend’s arm or shoulder.
And it suddenly dawned on me: In the sight of God, we are… all… mentally retarded, developmentally challenged, physically disabled.
None of us are what we could be, none of us are what we should be… none of us are what we will become, by the grace of God.
But He loves us anyway, right now, even with our disabilities.
And He gives us one another, to help and to support, to hold up and to hold on to, as we limp — like Jacob (Gen. 32:25,31) — through life. Because we all need help. Every one of us.
I left the park that morning feeling much better than when I entered it. I was taught an important lesson, by some children who didn’t even know I was there.
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to one another.”