When I was 5, almost all my imaginary friends where crippled in some way. I kid you not. They were in wheelchairs and had crutches and all sorts of silly things related to illness.
I never considered them 'sick'. They were just my imaginary friends who were in a wheelchair.
I had one of those hearts where I loved like Jesus. (I like to think...)
So when in heavens name did I become a judgemental, coldhearted, ninnymuggins? When did I start feeling awkward around people with disabilities? When did I start pulling away from them in crowded places? Was it taught, or is it in my nature?
When did I start thinking "Thank God that's not my child?"
When did my Jesus eyes go out the window?
The past few days I have noticed some people in the hallways of the hospital and out and about who are disabled. One man was mildly disabled, and two of them were severely and painstakinly visibly disabled. They were in mobile chairs, a woman with only the use of her feet and obviously unable to verbally communicate. She was writing with her feet while sitting in a wheelchair. The man was in a large wheelchair as well, he was just sitting there, looking at the ground, unable to lift his head. I found myself looking away- trying not to stare- stuck in that mentality that I didn't want him to catch me staring.
Today I was talking to God and I was asking him to help me see people through his eyes. I wasn't talking about the disabled, but as I sat down to write about that I realized that these were the few people that I remembered throughout the day. These were the people I had a hard time seeing through Jesus' eyes.
Don't get me wrong, I don't have 'judgement' towards them, but I do have an 'attitude'. The attitude was to go around them, to avoid them, to be almost mildly afraid of what they would say if they could tell me what a ridiculous jerk I was for treating them that way.
Jesus sees their hearts. He knows what they are feeling, what they think. He knows how they felt when I stared at the ground in fear of making eye contact with them and realizing that they caught me looking at them.
My son has Downs Syndrome. It could be severe or mild, who knows. Who cares? My son is beautiful and I fought for him- we fought for him. God formed all these people in his image and with his purpose in mind.
I imagine they are the people who see reality in a way that I cannot grasp. They know the truth- the raw truth. There's no covering up what issues they have with makeup or lies- there's no hiding.
If everyone could see my issues on the outside... I'm sure they would be awkwardly staring at the ground and fumbling by- trying not to make eye contact.
Its the people who see past my flaws and know my heart- those are the people who love like Jesus.
It's the people who can see past the external and the issues who love like Jesus. Imagine that.
I hope I can be more like that person.