Every life matters, celebrate it

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Rev. Clyde Northrop

Jim Schibsted once told a true life story about the day he was walking with his wife, Penny, in a park, when a 10-year-old boy raced around a tree, almost ran into them and said, “Dad, where’s Amy?” Instantly, the boy realized his error and said, “Sir, I’m sorry. I thought you were my dad. I made a mistake.”

Jim told him, “That’s OK. Everybody makes mistakes.” As he began to walk away, Jim and Penny noticed he had a limp as well as the features of a child with Down’s syndrome. After having walked about 10-yards, he turned around and started retracing his steps toward them.

“My name is Billy,” he said. “You both were very nice to me. Can I give you a hug?” After giving each of them a tight hug he said, “I just wanted you to know that you’re my friends, and I am going to be praying for you. I have to go now and find my sister, Amy. Goodbye, and God Bless You!”

Jim and Penny both had tears in their eyes as they watched Billy, that child with Down’s syndrome, limp to the playground to play with his little sister. After Billy went down the slide, his mother came over to him and gave him a big hug. It was obvious that he was a special child to her. Sometimes God uses the Billys of the world to break down our walls of sophistication to show us what genuine kindness is all about.

This Monday evening at the Kiwanis Building, our local Sav-A-Life organization will be celebrating the birth and life of all children, including Billy. The guest speaker at the banquet will be Emily Colson, who has a special needs son by the name of Max. She is the most enthusiastic supporter of human life that I have ever heard speak. As I listen to her talk about life with her son I am personally challenged to give people with special needs a much higher priority.

In Luke 14:12-14, 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. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (From the New International Version)