“GOD IS LOVE”
1 John 4:16
“Life is only worth living when you're loved by a child.”
Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story 2
Jesus “called a child to Himself” Matthew 18:2a
Spending time with a child are moments that are charged with holiness and God's presence if we but notice. Let's get down on our knees and interact any way our children with disabilities need us too. Play response/reaction games. This is the first step in communication – even in our spiritual communication with the Holy One. Think why you first began praying. Maybe you were a child and someone told you to (but probably not – kids know instinctively that God is there). How about as you got older; was there a time you turned to God and finally accepted Christ? He tried to get you to respond. The Holy Spirit nudges and sometimes pushes until we notice.
Hey, that's a good idea. Think how the Holy Spirit works with you. If you have never thought of this before, take time in prayer and quietness and listen – really listen. He knows you completely and understands your needs. He understands what softens your heart; what will cause you to cry or laugh; what will bring you to your knees in desperation. God knows what you like to do and what you understand. He speaks through the stuff of your daily life.
Let me tell you about my husband, Shannon. He is a horseman and is able to see inside a horse's soul and understand the horse's fears. He is able to use this knowledge to get the horse to trust him and finally work with him. In turn, God uses the horses in Shannon's life to illustrate truth to his heart. Shannon can talk for hours on how God's loe and relationship with His children can be seen in horse training.
God isn't going to talk to a Wall Street Broker in this way (unless that Wall Street Broker is a horse person). He will use the familiar to reach him. God uses the familiar in our lives to show Himself. He is speaking.
We can do the same thing with our kids with disabilities. Every human wants to be understood. Work hard to interact with your child. Try, try, try new things and don't stop.
A few weekends ago my family and I went to a caregiver's conference in Aberdeen, South Dakota. I got a few good things to think about there, but possibly one of the greatest things that happened was our time in the hot tub. I've been wanting to do water therapy with Hawken for over a year but the times I have tried to take him into a pool he has screamed and screamed. He cannot take the cold water.
I took him into the hot tub. He immediately relaxed and enjoyed the water. He let me move his arms and legs. It was wonderful.
That enjoyment is still touching his life. He now has a lot of fun in the bathtub. I put a few inches of water in the tub and lay him down on the bottom (he's too big for the infant bath chairs). He kicks and wiggles and even kind of splashes with his hands. And he smiles and smiles and smiles.
I tell Shannon we need to get a hot tub now. He agrees. So, we are waiting on God to supply the monetary side of it (we'd have to build onto our house to accommodate it plus the cost of the hot tub … go ahead and say a prayer if you like. I must admit I'd enjoy a hot tub too).
Seeking to understand another is loving that person. Your child needs this – so do you. You may not sense any love from your child but it is still there. Just keep trying. And if we consciously put ourselves in the moment with our children we will see God and we will see Love.