I used to teach developmentally disabled high school students. One family hand-picked me as their daughter’s teacher. I found her to be a difficult child to work with, probably slightly because she was smart enough to be aware of her limits. Imagine the frustration. Anyway, at a parent teacher conference, the parents said they wanted her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs met. It was clear to just about everyone at the table we only had so many hours in the school day to do that. After a lot of prayer, I called her mom and told her I was on staff at a church youth group, and I didn’t want to overstep boundaries, but, did her daughter want to come?
She did. The other kids (mostly) liked her, and some loved her. One kinda punk kid told a leader he could see God shining through her. She brought something special to the group and was also difficult for me to handle. We went to camp with us where I had to help her shower. She needed a lot of sleep and I needed to make sure she got it. I loved her, but she could be a real pain.
Since then, the family adopted two boys out of the foster care system, started going to church all the time. My husband talked to the dad and he said he was an agnostic. The mom was one of those “spiritual” but not “religious” types. They were generous and patient people.
Lately, the dad had taken to printing vibrant Bible verses on his facebook page almost every single day. I didn’t know what to think of it. I was encouraged, but it also made me wonder what was going on.
I got this on my Facebook wall today:
Father of former student
Hi Malakoa, Every day I am thankful for you and your bringing (their developmentally disabled daughter) to church and thus us to Christ! My daughter wanted me to say Hi So Hi From Her.
This short message turned me inside out with joy. I wrote back:
Your joy gives me goose-bumps. Thank you for your kind message and all the generosity and love you all have shown me and my family. Tell your daughter hi and a high-five back.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is from the third book of John. (It’s a letter that the apostle John wrote to encourage the Greeks.)
3 John, 1-4 “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”
I’ve been talking about joy for the last ten days and I am thrilled to have this be the last page of this project.
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!”