Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: QUESTION (S) (05/30/19)
- TITLE: Refreshingly Honest Indignation
By Laurie Staples
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It's no wonder that Jesus beseeches us to have child-like faith, without fear or insincerity.
Sloan was only four years old the first time he met my son Brett. He’d heard all about him, but this was the first time seeing him. He knelt down beside him and started talking to him and making funny faces, and I had to gently remind him that Brett couldn't see him. He was visibly taken aback, almost angry.
"But...that's not FAIR!”
I wasn't sure how to respond. To an adult I might say, "Yeah, well, life isn't fair, is it?" But to a child? That seemed a bit harsh.
"He doesn't see anything?” Sloan persisted.
I sadly shook my head.
"But that's not fair!" he said again, even more vehemently.
It amused me, and oddly enough, I found his genuine indignation comforting—a refreshingly honest departure from the positive spin most adults feel obligated to give it. I've had plenty of people tell me, “God chooses special people to have ‘special’ babies. Brett must be such a blessing in your lives!”
A blessing?? I confess I struggle not to be aggravated by that one. If you think it’s such a “blessing,” why not pray for a child of your own with severe disabilities?
But, like my mom always reminded me, they mean well. Of course they do. I know that. People don't know what to say, but children are free to call it as they see it.
Sure, there have been blessings unveiled in some of the difficulties, but the sharp ache of what our life might have looked like with a healthy Brett never goes away entirely and sometimes it's almost overwhelming in its intensity.
The apostle Paul’s words, “perplexed but not in despair” epitomize how I feel about Brett. Not that I don’t have days filled with sadness and self-pity, but I don’t stay there. I take great comfort in the fact that Paul, in spite of witnessing all manner of spectacular miracles, still didn’t feel like he had all the answers. If even Paul never got to a state of being un-perplexed, than I can be certain I’ll never arrive there—and that’s okay because, like Paul goes on to say, “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day be day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4)
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