Today I went swimming with my kids, which seemed like a pretty regular thing to do. Though I have discovered there are no regular days, just unimaginative unappreciated living, I myself am guilty of often. I was on my 3rd time down the slide, when I noticed a group of special needs young adults, handing out high fives to several workers with full smiles and full excitement on their faces. I watched amazed at the love and grace these beautiful people showed one another. In this moment I was not sure what it was I was witnessing, but I could not keep my eyes off of any of them.
I watched as they tried to get one teen boy to let go and cascade down the slide. It took three of them, to finally convince him he could do it and oh how they cheered and hollered, as he splashed with such a sense of completion on his face. Mmmm, these people were amazing – did I mention I could have sat and watched them all day? I was just in awe of the sweet care and heart of God they showed to those we tend to overlook.
Just as I thought the bar could be raised no higher and my heart could be moved no deeper, I watched as one of them took it to a whole other level. I had watched this worker float around the lazy river with a boy who had pail skin, engaged eyes, dark brown hair and who looked about 14. He could not move his legs or arms but his eyes clearly showed he was enjoying himself. I watched this worker diligently pull the boy out of the water, set him gently on the side and carefully step around him. He literally was being the boys hands and feet all while saying very sweetly, ” okay, okay.” It was so precious to watch.
Finally he leaned over, scooped up that sweet teen, turned with a look of dedication and to my surprise carried him up four flights of stairs. I thought to myself, is he going to take him down the slide? Yes, he was! He placed that precious baby in between his legs, secured his grip around his chest, signaled his buddy below to be ready to make sure he was safe and pushed off down the slide. I can’t tell you if the boy smiled or not down the slide, for sure I watched, but he had no expression. At this point I was fighting back tears at the raw passion I had just witnessed. And I knew in that moment that God smiled and my heart new that it had just witnessed more Jesus than I had seen in a long time. He went the extra mile just so this boy cold feel the rush of the water on his skin and touch normality without so called limits. Those workers loved with all their hearts the sheep that God had placed in front of them. I knew God had counted them faithful and man was it beautifully drenched in everything inspiring.
I resisted the temptation to hug each of them (which was hard for me) and tell them what a difference they were making and apologize that no one would every really notice it much. I stopped myself, because deep down I knew they already knew that and did it anyway, not because they had to but because they wanted to. Not because these kids would fill their pockets with money but because it filled their hearts with everything that really mattered. I watched them, I saw them interact, I saw the skip they had in their step. I saw willing hearts rung out with gusto and passion. They knew how to empty out their love lavishly, on those kids and I knew that’s how their hearts got so full in the first place.