Wednesday, March 04, 2009
When I was a little girl I attended a school in Okmulgee Oklahoma. It was called Banneker Kindergarten and it consisted of about 10 classrooms that supported half day kindergarten for about 18 classes. In this school there was also a special classroom for children requiring special education. Even as young as 4 I remember the kids that attended this class. They ranged in age from four to much older( possibly 12) and several of them were in special wheel chairs or walked with the assistance of braces or a walker. Everytime I had the opportunity to be around this special needs class I could not quit staring and wondering about them. I remember one day in class it was my turn to walk with another child to the small kitchen on the other side of the building to return our empty milk crate after snack time. The kitchen was right next to the special needs class and I could see inside the classroom from the spot in front of the milk cooler. I could not help but stare as I stood rooted on the spot. I wondered what life was like at home for those children and what kind of games they liked to play. I stood transfixed in this spot so long that the other child reminded me that we could get in trouble if we took to long and we dumped the milk crate and scurried back to class. Even as a young child I was transfixed by those that were different from me... so much so that my mom said I was never discreet in my staring and would ask questions aloud about people in public that looked different or had a handicap. ( how embarrassing for my mom. *Cringe*)As I look back on that time I think God was preparing my heart even then for the walk ahead.Later, when I was pregnant with my first child, my husband had a coworker who had a baby at only six months pregnant that died. It was a little boy who had a disorder that would not allow him to survive birth and they had a funeral service for him which my husband attended. Weeks later the coworker sent the baby's clothes home with my husband, hoping that we could use the clothes that she had intended for her beloved son.I did not see this for the gracious gesture of giving that it was and was overcome with a fear that by giving us a dead baby's clothes she had somehow inviting ill upon us. I grew so distressed and fearful over the notion that something would now happen to our own baby, that I insisted that these clothes be put out of the house and into the garage. I am embarrassed to state that I was quite shallow and selfish in my anger over the situation. We had a healthy baby boy and time passed. Just before I became pregnant with our second child, I read an article in people magazine. It was about Russell Simmons and his wife Justine. They had given birth to a baby girl that died the same day of her birth from a life threatening condition called an Omphalocele. It was just a small news blurb, a sentence or two long, and yet I was very moved. I was deeply saddened for them and I remember thinking how difficult it must be to lose a baby after your body had worked so hard for 9 months to give that baby life. "I dont know what I would do if that happened to me" I thought. "To put my body through all that for nine months and to have no baby to bring home....."Only 3 months later we discovered that another little one was on its way and everyone asked me if we knew what we were having. I did not know yet that we would be expecting a little girl. "Oh well," they would say " As long as its healthy." This statement really rubbed me the wrong way the more it was said. I already knew that we would love this baby weither it came to us healthy or not... why did people feel the need to say such a thing? Only 2 months later we would discover the grim diagnosis of our daughter.In hindsight, I realize that my heart knew.... all those years my heart was being prepared for the time that I would carry and then get to spend a precious few days with my daughter who was a special needs child. Sometimes the things we fear the most are so feared becuase our heart(and the holy spirit) are preparing us for the time that we will have to face something of a similar circumstance. I am not saying that our fears become our reality... but what I am saying is that sometimes we when we are being prepared spiritually for things, they become at the forefront of our heart or minds. It is that constant presence or those regular brushes with the matter that satan tries to use to cause fear in our hearts.The bible teaches us that " God did not give us a spirit of fear, but power, love, and a sound mind." Satan whispers in our ears that there is much to fear, but God will give us power to overcome any circumstance, love and compassion to support us through it, and a peaceful mind and level head to brave the storm.God can teach us to walk on water in the midst of our storms.....Just some thoughts.Matthew 14:25-3225During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 27But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." 28"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." 29"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" 32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." So let us keep our eyes transfixed on him, let us not look to the left or right, or at the ragging storm beneath our feet.