So, my boy.  He faced death in the early days and he came out scathed.  At 9 days old much of his future was robbed of him by jaundice. I went from being at home in bliss to staring down fears I had never dreamed of in my worst nightmare.  Wanting to blink and have them go away.

I did not want to leave the hospital those first 10 days in ICU.

They had to pry me from the place, a mess of tears, a new mother broken.

And for years afterward. I rarely left the walls of my home.  I went from being the pale fl girl to being a ghost.  My husband would beg me to leave.

Now, my husband asks if I want a break and within 2 minutes I’m running to my car barefoot, headed to starbucks.  Its been a HARD journey to grant myself a night out..and the only way I’ve gotten there is in putting ONE FOOT in FRONT OF THE OTHER….and I highly recommend it.



He was in the Captain Hook costume, yet he had no hook.  He had the winsome smiles, and I think he scored more candy than his sisters.  Being in a wheelchair sometimes has its advantages!


But when it came to the time that he and his Dad were doing the trunk or treat thing…

There were stares.

Kids wanted to skip our van.

There was fear.

They didn’t understand.  His strange movements set off their alarm bells.

He was perhaps the first kid they’d seen with athetoid CP (cerebral palsy).

And don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all horrible.  Their parents helped, and my gregarious husband pulled them in.  AND there were a precious few kids that did take the time to greet him!  {So grateful!!!}

…but the stares did hurt.

It didn’t just hurt that they stared, it hurt that there was reason to stare, that there is something out of the ordinary, something different.

Different.  Oh, son!

Today there was the little girl in the doorway, the one staring and frozen in our pathway to the door.

How to reach her?  How to put a band-aid on my heart?  And how to teach you son, you who already seem to be full of so much confidence and joy, you who already seem so capable of ignoring the ignorant and tuning into those with an eye for beauty?  What will I teach you one day when a stare hurts deep?

Those words will come tomorrow.  They give me great hope.  They help me find myself in this place.

But for today, I will say this…  We danced, you and I and your Dad.  We pushed your wheelchair like wild, and thankfully we didn’t take out any bystanders in the process, and it might also be good that there is no video out there – that I know of.  Your sisters joined in.  We danced and we reveled in the joy of knowing you, not just passing you by.  We soaked in your smile and your laughter and we were better for it.

You may not have had a hook on your hand, but your hook has laid hold of all 5 of us (and so many more) and we love you dearly son!

And we praise God for the gift that you are!

One more thing.  As we got in the car today, a sweet elderly woman came over and hugged me, just seconds after we made it past the statue of a little girl.  She hugged me, and my boy too.  She said she was so thankful for beautiful people with special needs.  She’s worked with the “special” for 25 years…and she called Blue “special” and she meant it.  Praise God!  Praise Him and God bless the people who have the eyes to see the rearranged beauty around them!

What will I teach you one day – when a stare hurts deep?

This.  This is what I shall teach you.

There are 2 kinds of different.

There is the “different” we chase.

All humanity longs for it and is in relentless struggle to grasp – the rare, the beautiful, the precious, diamonds, gold, innovations, things and people that revolutionize – that cut open new doors.

And there is the “different” that we throw aside.

The sub-par, the things that we see as wasting our time, our energy, the rotten tomatoes that we throw out, the people and things that subtract from our lives, this is the “different” that we avoid.

Many don’t know how to discern between these two types of different.

Some, too many, would sooner throw out the dusty, rock-encrusted diamond, than see what lies underneath.

They would throw it out because they will not pause.

Their minds have not yet comprehended the stillness needed

to see a bird,

to catch a fish,

to decipher a baby’s need,

to see the glimmer.

Without the pause, life is a mad dash from one false trinket to another.

Few have the patience and humility needed to pull back veil after veil before they see the beauty within.

How many horrid baubles are snatched up for their false glow?

How many unspeakable beauties are set aside for their pallid exterior?

It will be your choice, son, and it always has been.  Every day.  100′s of times a day you must choose:

whether to let those mad-dashers with their rotten-tomato-stares penetrate your soul,

whether to focus on your own story, what is within your grasp – to see and be refreshed by the wells that Jesus can lay within your walls.

It is no easy choice. Never.

Knowing that the rotten-tomato-stares eat away the insides of those who wear them, perhaps that should help.  It doesn’t.

To properly discern the different, this is gift.
The disfigured
The disabled
The hurting
The invisible

…all have the advantage.
You my son, you have the inside scoop between the two.
You have the mountain top vantage point to see these peeks above the clouds, the eyes to see beneath the muck that encrusts us all, and this, this is GIFT!
I see it. I see the joy in your eyes. I see the quick discernment.

Pretensions are gone in your world.

Those rotten tomato stares they don’t hurt you deep right now, because your eyes look beyond them for the infinite beauty God places below the surface.
Keep it up son. Don’t descend. Keep smiling, boy! Know the joy of The Lord. Know the joy that transcends circumstance, the joy that abounds when wine and new grain don’t.

And the whole hook thing – not a big deal, not when you are in the arms of the good shepherd.  His hook is sufficient.  His reach is far, and his grip is comfort to the weary.  The different and those with rotten-tomato-stares can both find comfort in him and be made whole.


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