“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
Years ago, my life path crossed the life path of a young girl. The girl was three years old, and she was very beautiful. She was bright, savvy, and streetwise beyond her years. Not yet able to write or draw or even attend school, this little girl had already lived a life much harder than my own.
This sweet, little angel, who should have been making mud pies in the backyard with her mommy or swinging high into the sky on a swing being pushed by her daddy, was the victim of abuse. She was abused sexually and as a result, she was scarred emotionally. That emotional scarring affected her not only socially, but developmentally also.
The story of this little angel’s life is so utterly heartbreaking that I still find myself crying for her to this day.
Angel – a name I chose to give this dear, sweet innocent – had A.I.D.S. and was placed in foster care after being “sold out” by her father when they were living in a homeless shelter. Angel liked to smile and play. She liked to talk. She spoke with men mostly, although she was learning to communicate with women. In fact, when I was present in her life, I noticed that she tended to gravitate toward me. She was always looking, all the while standing on the periphery. Never really engaging directly, but always close enough to show interest.
Angel was in the process of being adopted by a wonderful family who had nothing but love to lavish on her. At the time, I remember thinking what courage it must have taken for them to take this little girl on, especially during a time when people could be unwaveringly cruel about A.I.D.S/HIV, no matter if you were a child or an adult. I wondered how they could endure the social ramifications of taking on a “hardship case” such as this.
One day, the adoptive mother and I were conversing about a number of things. She spoke passionately about her faith and her love. She spoke about her courage. More than that, she spoke about where her strength and will to do what she and her husband were doing came from. She said, “It’s Jesus.”
Isn’t that beautiful? To know that no matter what she or her family would have to face with regard to Angel, she was prepared and fortified because of the LORD. This mother knew where her will to endure came from. She knew that God would give her and her family what they needed to care for the special needs of this little one. She believed that love – God’s love – was the key to Angel being healed and whole.
No matter what Angel had to face in the days ahead for her life, regarding health, emotional wellness, physical scarring, social delays, mental trauma, or developmental delays, this mother and father were committed. And they were in it for the long haul, for as long as Angel had to live.
In my eyes, the love that this family showed to Angel was one of the purest, sweetest, and most unconditional that I have ever known. They loved and cared with an I CAN DO heart and that touched all involved, including me.
Don’t you want that kind of I CAN DO love? Thankfully, it’s yours…in Christ.
“Love in any language comes straight from the heart.” – Unknown
It is through our special needs that God can be glorified. Special needs situations and circumstances allow differences to be made, not only in our lives, but also in the lives of those who get to witness our lives. Having an I CAN DO heart is a special lesson that can be carried into eternity and straight into the arms of the Most High.