Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pondering Relationships and Church

My firstborn princess and I were first time visitors to an area church today. I'd heard through the grapevine that this congregation is including children with developmental disabilities in unique, thinking-outside-the-box ways.

After the early service, I met one of the moms of a child with special needs. She went out of her way to give me a tour and tell me about the church.

She introduced me to one of the directors over programming for children, and as the three of us were chatting, the child with special needs was walking in the halls alone. Suddenly, she was joined by another child about the same age, who, with a bright smile that lit up the hall, wrapped an arm around the first girl, and they looked at one another nose to nose, and grinned at one another, and marched through the hall together. They clearly enjoyed one another's friendship, even though one of the girls is unable to speak.

One of the two women commented on the two girls, "Sarah absolutely loves Abby."

Sarah is the typically developing child who joined Abby in the hall. Abby is the child with developmental delays.

The beauty of the two of them in a loving embrace that revealed a glimpse into the history of that friendship had me blinking back tears.


That's one of the things that's missing; that's one of the things I want at church for my younger princess (who happens to have an asd diagnosis): relationships with peers who absolutely adore her, love her, wrap arms around her and accept her as she is.

"One of the greatest joys of the human experience is to know someone and to be known." Lynne Thompson


My name is Erin. said...

It's one of my greatest hopes, too, Penny. My eyes welled up with tears reading this. Will you be going back to the church?

Penny said...

Erin, yes, I'll take my son, too, and give my husband a turn to go in coming weeks, before we take the younger princess and go as a family.

It's a bit of a drive, a little over half an hour, longer than we want (and challenging on snowy days), but maybe it is where God wants us now. We are seeking His Will and Direction.

Missy said...

I know the feeling. I too wish this for my son.

My name is Erin. said...

Cool! :)

Marcia said...

what a beautiful moment you were fortunate to witness! A couple of weeks ago I witnessed a minor accident. An older, white woman had rear-ended the car in front of her. She got out of her car looking terribly upset (of course!). Out of the car in front of her came a large, casually dressed black man and a small asian woman wearing scrubs. They looked briefly at the cars (no damage). The younger woman went to the older woman and embraced her. The man briefly rubbed her back. Then all parties returned to their cars and drove away. What a great moment. It makes me feel warm and happy even still. I've wanted to blog about it, but haven't just yet.

Bronwyn said...

I just found out about your blog from Sheri. I have two autistic boys and I really understand what you are talking about here. We have struggled tremendously looking for a church that would welcome our children. It saddens me that the people who should show the most love often show the least.
I am not sure I would have been able to hold back tears. It is absolutely beautiful what you witnessed.

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