Sunday, April 27, 2014


... But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the member may have the same care for one another.
1 Corinthians 12:21-25 (NSV)

Several years ago on a clear October morning, I was deep in thought about some of life’s challenges when I heard the joyful singing of Christmas carols through my open kitchen window. The voice was familiar and instantly brought a smile to my face.

The joyful sound came from my teenage neighbor who was born with Down’s Syndrome. This young man lives with the physical and developmental challenges associated with Down’s; he has done so since the beginning of his time— and faces each day with a childlike innocence.

That innocence is reflected in his enthusiastic greeting — he smiles, laughs and says “Hi!”

His care and concern for others is genuine, his heart sincere, his innocence pure. His challenges have no impact on those qualities and those same qualities have the greatest impact on those who know him. I have often referred to him as my hero.

The strength of one who “seems to be weaker” empowers me to face life’s challenges. His role in the lives of those he touches is “indispensible”.

It’s wonderful to know that God loves us all in our imperfections. He gives us each other to love, care for and support in those imperfections as well, that we can learn from each other and grow in that love.

Heavenly Father, thank you for children of innocence who serve as mentors for others, lovingly yet unknowingly. Thank you for the promise of your kingdom and restoration of innocence when we leave this earth— through our salvation in Christ Jesus. In His loving name, Amen.

© 2014 Atalie Shackelford

1 comment:

Evelyn R. said...

Atalie, my mother had a neighbor who had Downs Syndrome and he lived to be in his 50's. He was a kind, gentle "boy" all of his life. I do believe God gives these "special" children to special people who can and will raise them in God's love. God bless you for being one of the boys "angels" on earth.
E. Bonnie