Agnes Ray, although 16 years old and healthy, was afflicted with Trisomy-21 (Down’s Syndrome). When tested, Agnes was determined to have an Intelligence Quotient of 48 that indicated she possessed a moderate form of retardation. Regardless of this disability, Agnes was a joy to her family and most of her neighborhood.
At night, just before she would go to sleep, Agnes would always say to her mother or father: “Wead me a stowy pwease!” This simply meant turning the pages of a book or magazine then letting her point out the animals, mommas, daddies, pretty little boys or girls and so forth.
On a very hot Oklahoma evening as she turned through a popular American magazine, she came to a full page advertisement for a pain reliever. The young woman in the ad appeared to be suffering from very serious back pain based upon the agonizing look on her face. Agnes look at the suffering woman for a moment, placed her fingers over the woman’s hurting back, then picked up the magazine and kissed her back area then said: “There! There! I give dis momma’s hurt to Jesus.” After a brief moment of what appear to be reflection on Agnes’ part, she was ready to read on.
What a lesson for every one of us—a loving reaction to another’s pain and suffering. Agnes would not probably be able to explain what it was she had demonstrated. Jesus, on the other hand would have called what Agnes displayed as compassion.