All my life I've had a fear of "mentally challenged" people – to put it nicely. It used to be that I would get physically ill when I came in sight of them – out of fear – out of the unknown – out of not understanding who they are and what their purpose is.
- Luke 14:12-14
12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." [emphasis mine]
When I read this passage earlier this week I told God that I wanted to do that – to prepare a luncheon or dinner and invite “those kinds of people” – whatever or whomever than meant. I asked him to show me how to do that.
Our church had a special Barbeque Beast Feast after church today and since it was too hot outside we had it in our basement fellowship hall where it was much cooler. After I had eaten my first plate of food (piled high and overflowing) I saw a young woman (Tabitha) from my church come in with about 8 mentally challenged adults, along with her coworker from the "group home"where she works. She had invited these women of all ages to share the Barbeque meal that was prepared. I ran up to her in line and exclaimed how thankful I was that she had invited them. I asked her if I could help with anything and her coworker responded immediately, “Can you take Mary’s hand and Ann’s hand while I get their plates of food?” As I reached out to grab hold of Mary’s hand she dawned a huge smile at me. My heart sank. I took hold of Ann’s hand who was a bit fearful. We walked behind the coworker as she asked them which foods they would like to eat. We then made our way to a table where each of them sat together as was their custom.
Recently, God has shown me that there are some He has chosen to be “so special” – their worship and trust in Him is so childlike, so pure, that they have no fear of raising their hands in praise to Him or shouting for joy or singing songs to Him. He finds joy in them – as well as in me (the so-called "normal" person... ahem... nothing 'normal' or 'pure' about me - UGH!)
- Matthew 5:7-8
7 Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. [emphasis mine]
What a blessing just to hold two very special hands today and to see the smile of the "pure in heart"!
“For God so loved the world…” all of them!
Praise to His glorious Name!