Sunday, June 2, 2013

Full of Life

Not too long ago, someone at church commented to me, "Your daughter is so full of life." I have heard lots of positive comments about Faith throughout the years, but this one brought tears to my eyes. To think that my daughter - a nine-year-old girl bound to a wheelchair was full of life - meant the world to me.

Faith's disability causes her to be different from her peers and others around her. She understands this and although she can get frustrated, she doesn't let it get her down. She has a very positive attitude about life. I give a lot of the credit to those who pray without ceasing for her and to Jesus who helps her on her journey each and every day. I truly praise God that someone who sees my daughter sees that she has a joyful life despite her special needs.
Full of joy
I know too well this isn't always the case. Usually, when someone pictures in their mind a nine-year-old who needs to use a wheelchair for mobility, gets her nutrition from a feeding tube, doesn't know how to read and still wears diapers, they would most likely classify that as having a "poor quality of life."

Unfortunately, this is exactly how our culture describes those who do not seem to contribute anything to society. This is where eugenicists have a hay day. And this is precisely why babies in the womb with known abnormalities are aborted.

I'm thankful there are those who see Faith in a different light. It seems wherever we go, we always find someone with whom to interact. Last weekend it was the mom of a little 14-month old boy who seemed very interested in Faith while waiting in the check-out line. Today at Target as Faith and I walked down an aisle, a lady asked me how old she was. Faith was the one who responded, "Nine!" She then told Faith she was just beautiful. Friends of mine who know Faith well tell me they don't see Faith as someone with a disability, instead they see someone with lots of ability.

Supergirls!
I'm curious. How do you view a child when you see him or her in a wheelchair? Do you wonder what happened to cause them to be that way? Do you feel sorry for the child. If so, I know those feelings are automatic. I was the same way before I had Faith. I was even uncomfortable around people with disabilities.

I know it may be normal to automatically think the child must have a poor quality of life. But  please, I'm asking you to try not to make those assumptions. Instead, maybe try to engage with the parent of the child with obvious special needs. There is fear in the unknown but once you know more and gain understanding, I bet you will no longer have such assumptions. And I can assure you, that the parent of the child you just interacted with will be glad you did.  
Faith scooting through the tunnel

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