The Greatest of these is Love

I was so saddened to read this article on how people still believe that those with developmental disabilities are, “horrors:” Babies with Down Syndrome are a ‘Horror’ Claims Philly Columnist.

As a parent of a child, son-to-be-adult, who has a developmental disability, I will say that raising him has taken more time, effort and money than raising my neurotypical daughter. And while it seems that he will probably be able to live a “normal” life as an adult, he will probably always need a little more support from us, a spouse, others in his life than a “normal” adult would.

But to classify him or someone with Down Syndrome as a “horror”? I thought we were beyond that as a society.

Maybe people with developmental disabilities will never be “contributing members of society” in the American sense of being economically independent and supporting others financially. But what do we hear over and over again from people at the end of their lives. Is it that they wished that they could have made more money or spent more money on someone else? No, it is that they wished that they would have taken more time to love and accept love.

I spent a fair amount of time around people with Down Syndrome who were classmates of my son in special education classes. And I am sorry to sound cliche, but they truly are some of the most loving people I have ever met. They would keep watch over my son, their colleague, and make sure that he knew what was going on, make sure that he was included – something that generally doesn’t happen around his “normal” peers.

So if we truly believe that Love is the most important thing in this life, wouldn’t we want more of these “horrors” around, not less?

Happy late Valentine’s Day!


Why Judah?


While continuing to read through Genesis, I ran across this:

9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. 

Genesis 49:9-10

Judah is the fourth son of Jacob, also known as Israel. In that culture, usually it would be the firstborn son that would receive the largest blessing, so I did a little research to see if there was an answer somewhere in the Bible explaining God’s choice.

There isn’t an explanation. But here is a blog post that I found on the website, One for Israel that I thought had some great thoughts on the subject:

The Mysterious Choice of Judah

May we all have the attitude of Leah, as described in the article above!

(One for Israel describes themselves as such: We are an Israeli ministry composed of Jewish & Arab followers of Yeshua (Jesus) who are all about blessing Israel through sharing the gospel online, educating the new generation of born-again believers through our one and only Hebrew-speaking Bible College in Israel, and helping holocaust survivors by supplying humanitarian aid.)


Are you on a pilgrimage?


7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” 9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty.

Genesis 47:7-9a

This got me to thinking, what is a pilgrimage like?

Pilgrims are on a journey to a very specific destination. They don’t let any sort of hardship get in their way. They keep plodding forward no matter the sacrifice. They don’t complain about injury or hunger or thirst. They realize that it is all just a part of the journey. Nothing stops their progress but death.

Sometimes they travel with their family and friends, but often they must leave behind all they know, both people and places. They miss their family, wishing that they could be with them, and hoping that one day, they too will reach the holy site. But the excitement of the journey far outweighs any loneliness.

I have never made a pilgrimage, but the little bit of traveling I have done gives me a small sense for some of the feelings a pilgrim might experience. For instance, my daughter and I went to Paris for a week last spring.

First we had to sacrifice a bit on our spending at home so that we could afford expensive plane tickets and lodging at a safe hotel. We spent months studying guide books and researching activities, laws, routes, hospital locations, etc. online. We were able to talk with some friends who had just been to Paris the spring before, and learned tips from other friends who had visited years ago.

We tried not to talk too much about our excitement with those who weren’t going or hadn’t been, as we didn’t want to incite jealousy. Some people didn’t even know we were going until after we got back – so maybe we kept it a little too low key sometimes!

The journey was long and left us feeling physically ill. Operating in a foreign language was tiring. I was always just a little bit on edge for our safety, as terrorist attacks have become somewhat common there, and we are just two small women. We missed family and friends a little. But the joy of being there and experiencing things we had never experienced before far outweighed any discomforts.

We would go back there in a heartbeat! We loved our “pilgrimage”.

May I be a pilgrim here in my everyday, too.

Everything is a video game!


Last night I had my teenage son help me prepare supper. We were making Chicken Étoufée, so there was a lot of: cook this for a while, then add this and cook it some more, then add this other thing, etc, all while stirring continuously.

At one point, I was stirring, and asked him to add the next set of ingredients. He picked up the container of diced vegetables and tipped it over the pan. He then started to jab at the mirepoix with his rubber scraper, flicking little bits of it at a time into the roux.

“You could turn your scraper to more efficiently…,” I began. Then I heard the giggling and saw how the mini vegetable bombs were just missing my stirring hand, the container trying to get into rhythm with arm.

“You turned this into a video game, didn’t you?” Louder giggling. “OK, just be more careful not to get it on the neighboring burners – stoves are a lot of work to clean!”

Even heroes need comfort

lonely hero

Genesis 24:67

Isaac married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.This verse struck me.

Here this 40 year old bachelor nomad meets and marries this beautiful girl in the same afternoon. There is no record of Isaac’s verbal reaction to the the story of how God miraculously guided his father’s servant to the girl, that God encouraged her relatives to let her go, and that God gave her excitement to go to a place she has never been to marry a man she has never met.

I suppose the fact that he did listen and then immediately married Rebekah means that the story of her arrival meant something to him. And it does say that Isaac not only married Rebekah, but that he truly loved her.

But I must admit that I didn’t like the very end of the verse: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. Being at the end like that left me feeling like he used his marriage just as a way of finding comfort.

The Bible says that Isaac’s mom, Sarah, lived until she was 127 years old, which would mean that Isaac was about 37 when she died.

Being his mom’s only child probably meant that she totally doted on him. And he was relatively young when she died. Losing her would have been a big deal. So I can see why he needed comfort. But still. She’s your wife! How about loving her for her?

In the next chapters of Genesis there is no mention of thoughts of his mom, only love for his wife and how he wants God to bless her. So while his relationship with Rebekah did help assuage the grief caused by the loss of his mother, he was thrilled to be married to Rebekah, herself, as a person, not just as a comfort.

This shows that the Bible heroes of old loved and lost and needed help getting over those loses just like us today.  I thank God that I have a husband who I love just for himself. But I also thank God that my husband can be a comfort to me in the face of other little losses that I face throughout the day.

No one can replace God, but it is nice that He gives us other humans to help us along the way.