“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.”
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
Our children with Down syndrome are not a mistake or a fluke of nature. God made no mistake when he created my little Christina or your child born with Down Syndrome. He sprinkled those children in our midst to teach us what life and love are really all about. Christina will never be a nuclear physicist, or a great mathematician, or a famous writer or speaker, but she can do what you and I can never do: she can love you unconditionally. She can give you affection even if you are in the eyes of modern society and today’s media and standards undesirable and ugly. She does not care if you are a king or a popper, rich, poor, beautiful or ugly; she only looks at your heart: are you good or bad? Are you kind or plastic or fake nice. She senses what is truly in your heart. She knows when you are hurting and need comfort. She will stop and comfort you even when everyone else would just pass you by and not give a care. But isn’t that how our God is? He looks into our heart, not to our outward appearance or social status or accomplishments. He loves us, even if we don’t deserve it. So children with Down syndrome are mirrors of love, compassion and forgiveness. They mirror the essence of God.
People with Down-syndrome are more alike than different from us.. They have feelings and emotions, just like the rest of us. They get angry and they feel sadness. They understand when we are talking negatively about them; just they don’t have the verbal or mental skills to defend themselves. When we talk about their limited possibilities and categorize them, it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. Whatever you hold in your mind will occur in your life. So don’t criticize them or compare their life with your life or to what you think is normal, because you have no idea what their journey, and their purpose is all about. Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called! Let me tell you a little story about that:
Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked …
When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.
Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit … Keep playing.”; Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.
That is the way it is with our Heavenly Father. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t exactly graceful flowing music. But … with the hand of the Master, our life’s work truly can be beautiful.
You have no right to judge people with Down syndrome or to shun them. They have the same feelings and needs that you as a typical person have. They need to be loved and included. They like to please and get praise. They like to socialize and feel like they belong. They can learn, but need more time and an extra measure of grace. So next time when a child with Down-Syndrome is in your classroom or in your midst, make them feel included, and explain to the rest of the children that God made everyone special and different, and that we are to accept and respect everyone, just the way they are, and treat them with dignity. Isn’t that what life is really all about? Isn’t that what God calls us to do? Or is it about racing against each other, and the one with the most toys wins? Let me tell you something: when you are dead, your hearse will not be followed by a Rider Truck with all your toys and belongings in it, unless you are an Egyptian King, getting buried with all your stuff and even your slaves in your Pyramid.
So let’s re-define the word “winning”: it’s about defying the odds and finding joy in every moment. It is about the fortitude of the human spirit. Maybe the odds are stacked against our children with Down syndrome or they are stacked against you, but what the odds don’t know is, that this isn’t a math test. This is a completely different kind of test, one where passion has a funny way of trumping logic. Helen Keller once said:”It isn’t enough to give the disabled life, but they must be given a life worth living.
So why then are we so afraid to face adversity and afraid to include people with special needs? It’s because of the Unknown, and we are afraid for our own comfort and safety. If a captain were worried about the safety of his ship, he would leave it in the harbor. But that is not what ships are meant for, they were meant to sail to the open sea, and discover new lands.
Children with Down syndrome are not a mistake or a fluke of nature, but one of God’s most precious and beautiful creations. God has a very specific purpose and plan for them as well.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it well.” ~ Psalm 139:13
With all my Love and Heart,
Music Transforms You,