I have some really amazing friends, who are leaders in Young Life (www.younglife.org) and Capernaum, a division of Young Life, for kids with special needs. When I started having symptoms of muscular dystrophy, I began to understand a little bit about what living with special needs is about. God gave me a heart of compassion for those with disabilities more severe than my own and I wanted to do something to serve them. Since I’m a teacher and have worked with kids all of my adult life, I immediately thought of Capernaum. That was it. By God’s grace, I was going to club.
I looked around the circle of faces as we sang. A girl dancing. A boy clapping his hands. A boy jingling change in his pocket. Another girl dancing and clapping. Several boys in wheelchairs. A boy standing with the aid of a Capernaum volunteer. Although the needs appeared to be different for each kid, it was clear they all required special assistance and attention. If you looked at this group from a distance, you might think it was one to pity. They certainly have odds stacked against them from society’s point of view. NOT SO from where I was sitting! They were singing about Jesus, who made them and loves them. Every mouth was singing and smiling and EVERY FACE WAS FULL OF JOY!
I immediately realized – these kids GET it! And I thought about what Jesus said in The Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. (Matt 5:5) We all are offered God’s saving gift of grace, but it was in that moment, my heart understood an overflowing kind of grace presented to these children. Although suffering on this earth may last a little while, they have a glorious inheritance waiting in eternity!
The joy at Capernaum club was positively contagious. Someone recently asked me how I felt about slowly losing my ability to walk. How can I feel anything but joy over the thirty-seven years, and still counting, that I’ve already been given on two functioning legs! There is so much grace in our lives if we are willing to just stop and take another look.
My friends, don’t miss the most precious grace ever offered. If your heart has never been reconciled to God and your eternity secured, the saving grace you need can only come through Jesus Christ.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:4-9
Grace step with me!