10 Days Without Legs

Day 3…

Fall– it happens every year when the temperature gets cold enough to change the color of the leaves. It also happens when an unexperienced wheelchair driver (aka me) tries to get down a step. I have seen people in wheelchairs navigate one step before, by pulling a wheely and sort-of dropping off the edge onto the floor below. Usually the steps are only four inches or so, and the person makes it look easy. Well, it’s not that easy. Yes I picked a short four inch step, and yes I pulled the wheely, but No, I didn’t land it. The good thing about short steps, is that the front of the chair keeps you from face planting — at least it did for me. Anyway, it was quite funny, and both me and my son got a good laugh out of it.

I love hanging out with my family, and sharing silly moments with my boys or my wife. With the world full of stresses and hardships, families are supposed to be the place of peace and rest. Yet oftentimes, when a family is affected by disabilities there’s an entirely new level of difficulty and stress that arrises.

I know a kid who has a pretty intense form of down-syndrome. I used to play with him during church, so that his parent’s could enjoy the service. It was amazing, and I loved working with him. But I think one of the main reasons it was enjoyable and that I was good at it, was because I only did it for an hour a week. Even on the most difficult days, where he was really struggling — I still got to go home and get a break.

I remember having a conversation with his dad about living with a special needs child, and I remember him saying some really interesting things about their family. He talked about how loving and loyal his son was, more than anyone else he knew. But he also talked about how stressful it could be at home. His son did not understand things like his other boys did, and oftentimes could be irrational. He basically summed it up by saying that their family is often tired both physically and emotionally.

One of the really cool things about¬†Joni and Friends, is there commitment to meet the needs of entire families.¬†Disabilities affect a lot more than just the person who has one — they affect entire communities. Families who are affected by dissabilities are often tired and lack encouragement. Joni and Friends offers something they call Family Retreats as a lifeline to these families. These retreats help them find hope, encouragement, and rest from people going through the same things. If you want to know more about Family Retreats, check it out by clicking here.

Challenge for the day: look around your church, school, or community and find a family affected by dissabilities. Ask them one simple question: how can I encourage you today? If you get the chance to do this, please comment about it below…

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