So, I know this young man. He was born with cerebral palsy. Life for him, as he enters into his 20s, is quite different from other guys his age. Unless you get to know him, you wouldn’t see his determined spirit, has tenacity, his sense of humour. After a spine surgery, the success of which the doctors could not guarantee, he was so eager to move himself out of bed his parents had to keep a close eye on him! He was determined to move around his world again, to embrace his world again. From him we learn the power of determination and perseverance.

Our girls had swimming lessons this week. As I sat for that half hour, I watched with tears in my eyes. And a strong desire to jump up and cheer. Not for our girls, not this time; but for a little boy who was such a delight! He has down syndrome. And he was swimming like a fish! I observed his teacher who was so encouraging and so creative in her teaching techniques – helping this little fellow expand his horizons and learn the very valuable skill of water safety. From him we learn the strength of learning through play and the value of a sense of accomplishment.

We have the privilege of knowing a young fellow who has complications with his mobility. Week after week, month after month, he and his courageous parents work towards health and well-being. They encounter obstacles and work tenaciously to overcome or work with them. He blesses others with his wit and humour, and shows us the fruit of hard work and commitment.

There is this girl I know. {And she has totally stolen my heart.} In a world of noise and chatter; in a culture with the clamour of sound all around, with things that need to be said and always someone ready to say it, speech delay and learning difficulties make things a lot …. quieter. More peaceful. More intentional. Her sensitive spirit is quick to pick up on others pain and distress. Her slower pace is more ready to sit and minister to someone with a quiet hand on theirs, content just to be together. From her we learn “…the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit….” {1 Peter 3:4}. We discover that we don’t always have to speak in order to hear and listen.

When Kezia was first diagnosed with global development delay and life-long learning disabilities, it felt a bit …. overwhelming {to say the least}. I was talking with a friend’s mom, whose grandson has autism and a seizure disorder. She said something to me that I will never forget…. “Living with those who have “disabilities” is a very humbling thing.” It is. Very much so. In our all-together-world, learning from those, caring for those that society so often shuns or considers unworthy of life, is so humbling. It was said of Henri Nouwen, famous author and revered professor, that his most fulfilling life’s work came with working with those who were profoundly physically and mentally disabled.

In a world that applauds monuments and achievements, we celebrate the smallest of milestones.

There is nothing wrong with accolades. We need to be cheering on the accomplishments of others, those who encourage us to do great things because they themselves are strong leaders; those who are inspiring us through their achievements, those who are doing many good things with the resources that they have. Who have also overcome many of life’s challenges.

But let us also make room for the quietly heroic among us, ready to teach us through their example if we only take the time to stop and truly learn.picmonkey_image

More Quietly Heroic inspiration…..

Bloom – if you have not read the book, visited her blog or seen the video, please do. It is so beautiful.

Teachings of Jon – down syndrome – Teachings of Jon Video Clip

Determination – A video a friend of mine recently shared on FB

Eagle Doctor – pretty much laughed and cried my way through this one!! “EAGLE DOCTOR is a warmly personal portrayal of a child’s life-long struggles with multiple medical disabilities, and his spirit that sustains him and enriches us all. “