Who knows the value of another’s life? Our society values beauty, fame, wealth, success, accomplishment, independence and usefulness. Those who lack these qualities are inconvenient burdens.
How well I know this! Caring for a developmentally delayed/mentally ill niece has stretched me and brought me to levels of rage, frustration and despair I didn’t know I was capable of feeling. My husband and I are dipping into our savings to provide for her, and are draining our emotional resources as well.
In the midst of our confusion and pain, we have to ask ourselves why would God create such a person. Why would He allow her to suffer brain damage at birth? What possible purpose does she serve?
In calmer moments I can see glimpses. At times she is sweet and loving, and her enthusiasm for new shoes or a silly song I sing to her lightens my mood. We dance as we do laundry, giggle at the cat chasing squirrels, laugh as fallen leaves blow into our faces as we walk through the neighborhood.
But all that isn’t enough when I find ice cream bars melted in her drawer or have to ransack her room to find my shoes. And the good moods are only breaks from the whiny demandingness of a person who never learned to live within boundaries.
Feeling very low, I read an outstanding article by Cal Thomas, a eulogy of sorts to his brother with Down’s syndrome. And down at the bottom I found at least of piece of the answer I had been searching for.
A disabled person has a vital role in the lives of the people around him or her. Those of us who care for that person learn to care for someone who cannot always give back, to value people more than things or dreams or ambitions.
One more example of God using all circumstances to work for good in my life. May I have the grace to embrace His purposes.