Birthday Party

by | Jun 10, 1998 | Blessing, Parenting

I went to my nephew’s birthday party yesterday. He turned 11 years old on Thursday. He suffers from Muscular Dystrophy and has a wealth of other problems. Also at this party was the family of a young man who will be turning 22 this Tuesday. He has Multiple Sclerosis. My nephew’s teacher at a special school he attends was on hand as well, along with one of the children she takes care of who also has MD. He is only 4 years old. Three young people who have so much in common. Three families who share the same burden.

The party was held at a pizza place that caters to children. It was full of entertainment and games for kids to play, so it was crowded with children who ran and laughed and played to their hearts content. All except the three boys confined to their special chairs, their uncontrollable arms and legs not allowing them to get out of their chairs to join in the fun. So they sat and watched their friends and cousins have a great time and I look at them and wonder if they know, I mean really know, all that is going on around them and how much they are missing. They cannot speak. They have no way to communicate with others what they may be thinking.

By now you may well be asking, “What are you doing, preacher? Trying to play on my heart a little bit?” Maybe. But more importantly I am trying to get all of us to see something more. Something to which we are often blind.

Number one is prejudice. Anyone who comes into contact with these three will discover they have none. Their friends and family members know they are different from themselves but this is not considered a “cross to bear”. Their families may find the care of these to be a financial burden but they do not notice it. They may find their care time consuming but they do not gripe or complain. They do it out of love more than because of a sense of responsibility. These three boys do not see race or ethnic background of others as being a barrier, because with them those walls do not exist.

Number two is love with no conditions attached. They are responsive to any person who speaks to them or smiles at them or simply pats them on the head. If you were to hug them they will just light up and try to hug you back. But they can’t. Their arms won’t let them. They will give you their hearts and not expect anything in return. Within them you will find no ulterior motive. They do not love just because of what they can get for themselves. Their love for others is truly one that is unselfish.

Number three is the grace of God. “How can that be”? How can the grace of God be seen in these three severely handicapped boys?” Good questions. But you must understand, these young men are among the number often referred to as “safe”. Jesus Christ said: Mark 10:14 14 Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. (KJV) These three are “little children” and no matter how long they may live, they will always be “little children”. Their minds cannot comprehend life itself much less the Word of God. They do not know and are incapable of knowing what God expects of them. They cannot understand the plan of salvation so they cannot respond to it. God’s grace is seen in these three because they will be among those who inherit Heaven. God has a special place in His heart for children, and even more so for these three children.

They must go through an existence with minds incapable of understanding, limbs that are twisted, seizures they cannot control and other handicaps we can’t understand. And something else they do not know yet, but someday will. Rev 21:4 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (KJV) These three boys have a day coming for them when they WILL understand all the things they can’t understand here. They will have no more pain, no more arms and legs that work against them, no more seizures, no more involuntary and uncontrollable movements of their twisted bodies. In Heaven they will be whole, complete, living in a spiritual incorruptible body that cannot fight against them.

Parents and grandparents, let me strongly urge you, if your children and grandchildren are healthy, thank God in Heaven for it. Do they get on your nerves? Do they say “okay” when you tell them NOT to do something and then do it anyway? Do they run and scream and laugh and play and fight you at bedtime? If they do, thank God for it.

One more thing: If you think your problems in this life are too much to bear, look at these three. Compared to them we don’t have any problems. I did not really realize this until yesterday. You see, I was at this party suffering a bad Migraine attack and did not really want to be there. I was feeling sorry for myself you could say and thought “nobody really knows what I am going through”. I was talking to the 4 year old boy with MD and making him smile. I kissed him on his forehead. He looked at me with eyes that saw into my very soul. I went out to my car and asked God to forgive me for my self-pity.

Michael Williams


Birthday Party