One of the stories that moved both of us involved this young boy and his mother. It humbled me. It inspired me. It is still moving me.
This woman (I don't even know her name) brings her son to their place of worship. In this case it is a small house where they meet. He was born severely disabled and just that fact that she is still caring for him is a testimony of her love and devotion.
You see, it's rare to see a child with disabilities in India. From what I've been told, when a child is born with special needs, the child just "disappears" with no questions asked. They are not spoke of again.
If a woman chooses to keep her child, the husband will usually leave. He is then able to select another wife, the wife is seen as damaged goods and is not allowed to remarry. If she chooses her child, she chooses to be a sole caretaker of a child with multiple complicated needs.
This woman brought her young son to church, laid him on the floor among the rest of the worshipers and along with the child's grandmother, sought the Prince of Peace. She (like many others there) came for prayer, to sing praises and hear the Word of God preached. She found fellowship. In this particular congregation, she found love, acceptance and understanding.
I can't even really begin to understand what this woman's daily life is like. There is a part of me that can imagine. After all, The Princess completely relies on us for everything. The emphasis here is on us. I don't do this alone and for the three weeks that I did, I was never completely alone. I still had emotional support and although it was more difficult than usual, it didn't scratch the surface on what this woman deals with every day.
What we have in common is that we both raise children outside the realm of typical needs. Our differences are glaring when you examine the obstacles that we both face. My Sunday morning looks completely different from hers. As I thought about what it took for her to get her son to church, I was humbled and saddened by my own reactions.
This woman carries her son to a small home where this church gathers. She brings him in, finds a place on the hard floor and lays him down in the middle of other worshipers. It is hot, it is dusty and it can't even begin to be comfortable. She asks for prayer, sings the songs and listens to the message, looking for hope and faith.
My Sunday is a stark contrast. The drive from my home to the church building is around 10 minutes. When I arrive, I sometimes have found myself frustrated by the lack of handicapped parking spaces in our paved church parking lot. After dropping off my daughter at children's church, there is an entire team waiting to minister to her in the same service as the rest of the children. I head to the air conditioned sanctuary where I seat myself in a padded chair. I remind myself to check the number system in case The Princess is having an off day and needs my assistance. While my child is cared for, I worship and listen to the Word being spoken. On occasion (about 3 times a year) the number will flash notifying me that I need to check on her because she is either crying or needs to be changed.
We both fiercely love our children.
We both seek strength through our faith in God.
We both need support.
Neither of us need pity but we do need understanding.
We both do whatever it takes to give them the best of what we have.
In this past year, when things get tough or when I get tired, I think of her. I try to remember to pray for her. It is so easy to focus on ourselves. I'm ashamed to admit it but this morning I found myself grumbling that I had to take diapers to the school. A three minute drive but having to change out of my jammies earlier than I wanted to made me grumbly. Then tonight, I thought of her again. I thought of her strength, her grace and her endurance.
Once again, I prayed for her. Will you pray for her too? How has God used someone else's circumstances to humble you?
Joining Emily again today for Imperfect Prose. Click on this to join me.