Monday, July 22, 2013

Sweet Sister Hope....

You've seen this photo before, but I wanted to share it again.  I love this photo of my little sister, Hope.


I tell a lot of "Hope" stories, so all of my friends know about her.  If we are invited to a cookout on the weekend, there is a good possibility Hope will come along.  My friends know this, and it is just fine with them.

I have a good friend, Sara, that I met at work.  She forwarded this email to me, and as I sat at my desk, the tears started to flow.  It describes Hope to a tee, and Sara has never had the opportunity to meet Hope.  She only knows her through the stories I tell.

So, if you're like me grab a Kleenex.


             *I envy Kevin. My brother, Kevin, thinks God lives under
             his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.*
             *He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I
             stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where
           are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed...'
            **I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's

             unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But
             that night something else lingered long after the humor. I
             realized for the first time the very different world Kevin
             lives in.

He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of
             difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's
             6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult.

          He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a
             7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always
             believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is
             the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas
             and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry

             I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is
             he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?

             Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the
             disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat
             his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.

             The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when
             he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother
             with her newborn child. He does not seem dissatisfied.

             He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a
             day of simple work.

             He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the
             stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to
             gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.

             And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day
             my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink,
             watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the
             destination of each passenger inside. 'That one's goin' to
             Chi-car-go! ' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.

             His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday
             And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field
             trips.He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.

             His life is simple.

             He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power,
             and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or
             what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met,
             and he never worries that one day they may not be.

             His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he
             is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the
             carpet, his heart is completely in it.

             He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he
             does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his
             tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.

             He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.
             His heart is pure.He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must
             be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of

             Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is
             not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is
             always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.

             Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to
             Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to
             really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for
             an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest

             *In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my
             Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple

             *It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has
             some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal 
 questions.* *It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with
             the handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my
             circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not
             trust them to God's care.*

             *Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn?
             After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of
             innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness
             and love of God.*

             *And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and
             we are all amazed at how close God really is to our
             hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of
             a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.*

             *Kevin won't be surprised at all!*

Make it an awesome day!

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