Looking Past the Disability

Posted by Richard Harris | | Posted On Monday, December 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM


Today my wife and oldest daughter went to do some shopping leaving me behind with the other female in my life as well as three of my boys. Watching the boys is just a matter of being a co- pilot referring minor conflicts from time to time. Gracie is another matter all together.

Gracie and I watched some football for a while but much to my disappointment she was just not into it. I ended up rescuing my oldest daughters make up and my office before she settled in on changing clothes and watching a movie with me. There is no doubt who the boss is in our relationship and I attempt to take care of the boss as best I can.

During our time together I held her hand for a moment and in that instant I looked at her and my mind said “You have a daughter with Down syndrome.” You might think that would be obvious to me since she is five now. It is.

It is not that I don’t understand it is that I do. I understand about the 24 hour a day 7 day a week constant watchful eye needed, my sleepy eyes are well aware of the fact we never get a full night’s sleep. No doubt I am on top of the fact that language is a frustrating daze of hand signals, finger points and simple words that are coming together at a rate far slower and more frustrating than our other children.

I never question for one second the statistics that parents of disabled children have high divorce rates as I live out the pressure and stress involved in my own life. Without a strong love and good support system I can see where a marriage stands little chance. ‘Development delay’ formerly was a term used for others, now it is a way of life as I watch the slow (but consistent) growth in the most simple of task.

Starting to detect a pity party? Not behind this keyboard. Feeling as though someone is venting on you under the disguise of a devotional; not here.

My moment in my living room was a reminder that for me that I do not see the disability on a daily bases, I see Gracie. She has been a part of my life for almost five years now and long ago I knew how good I have it and many years though I don’t know when, I stopped looking at her as someone with a disability.

I look past the disability and see Gracie, my daughter. Not my daughter with a disability or my daughter with Down syndrome. I see past the disability, I think God does the same with us.

We all though many refuse to admit it are disabled. When it comes to a holy God we stand no chance. We hate, we gossip, we lust, we abuse with word and deed. We become addicted making man made things our idols replacing God with drugs, alcohol and sex. We covet what others have, seek revenge when wronged and make others the target of our ridicule under the disguise of humor. In the sight of a Holy God these and all of our sins are our disabilities.

When God looks to us he could see our disabilities. He could say there goes Richard the smart aleck or Richard the person who loses his temper.

Instead He looks past the disabilities and sees Richard; his child.

He does the same for you. God the creator knows the creation and its tendencies. That does not stop him from loving us, in fact it almost seems as though it moves him to love us more. Why else would he send his son to die for our disabilities (sins)?

Next time you consider your latest failure, look in the mirror and see what God sees; his child.

Never forget he sees past the disability and loves you (as I love Gracie) with an unquenchable everlasting love. No one is too disabled for God.

Scripture: 1 John 3:1, “What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we're called children of God! That's who we really are. But that's also why the world doesn't recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he's up to.” The Message by Eugene Peterson

Prayer: Dear Lord, we come with thankful and humble hearts that you love us in spite of who we are. That you love us as a parent loves his child. We seek your help to live out our lives in a way that gives honor to you our Heavenly Father. We ask these things in the name of Christ, Amen.


all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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