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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I Cor. 13:13 (Pt.3)  Thought/Prayer:  Love “Beyond” the Norm.  Topics:  2 at end.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  KJV (Read this scripture and more at

At a wedding-rehearsal dinner I sat by a tiny young woman from another state who shared that she worked in a home for old men with severe and multiple disabilities.  These men’s severe disabilities included total care of their persons including feeding, bathing, total needs of bathrooming, and more.  They were mentally handicapped as well. 

I understood what caring for these needs could involve since I taught in a school for the mentally handicapped where teenagers had needs such as these.  These teens in wheelchairs could not care for themselves in most ways.  It was a challenging job, but I loved it; and I appreciated the para-educators who helped with the care and education of these teenagers.  I loved my students.  We all tried to do the best for them even in demanding efforts.

But I had difficulty picturing this young woman doing this work with old men who, comparatively, to me, were much less lovable than the students I served.  I just had a hard time with thoughts of caring for old men in the same situation as my teenagers.  I couldn’t picture much to love about them.  But here was this beautiful young person who expressed her love for them greatly.  Later I realized I felt a bit ashamed of myself for thinking this way.  What was the difference?  Why did I have these two different viewpoints?

It would be difficult to say exactly; but it must have had two elements to it.  First, the deep love that this young person had for these old men was something at that time that I couldn’t muster from within myself.  At that time I could not see their value, totally.  And, secondly, the youth of my students must have entered in, in contrast to the age of the men she described.  For some reason I found youthfulness to be more appealing to me. 

Now I play the piano for men in similar straits, but there is a difference.  The men now do not have mental handicaps.  But should it matter?  No, it should not.  I must put it all in the perspective from God.

God made each of the teenagers and the old men I’ve spoken of here.  He loves each one with as great a love as He loves me.  He knows about their situations.  He allows people with these situations to be in our world – and we (I!) must learn from them.

God’s love must be extended through me to all the persons I’ve described.  Though I’ve never been introduced to severe and multiply handicapped old men, I pray that I will love them in my heart anyway.  And if I ever do meet one of them, I pray that God’s love for him will come through very strongly!  And I pray that His love was seen in me toward the teens I taught; I believe it was, at least in measure, hopefully great.

I pray that His love is seen when I play for my memory-care persons.  No, not just seen – Felt.  I pray that His love is felt, no matter how angry and hostile someone may seem, which happens at times.

Lord, help us to love those we hear about or whom we know, who have so many problems we can’t name them all.  Please, Lord, let us protect the value of their lives by loving them:  You loving them through us.

Topics:  Pray for love “beyond” the norm when it comes to all folks with severe and multiple handicaps. 
National Right to Life          

Posted by Gail Richardson on 08/22 at 12:57 AM
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