Lately, I had someone ask me why I care about people with special needs so much.
The answer that came to mind was simple: my brother and sister have special needs. I can't just sit around and do nothing while kids like Levi and Evan are being horribly mistreated and misunderstood.
While that answer makes the most sense, and came the most naturally to me, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there had to be something more.
Of course having siblings with special needs made it an area of particular interest for me, but having siblings with Down syndrome doesn't necessarily reshape your life into a mission for orphans with special needs. I think of Levi and Evan as a kickstart.
But what's the real reason? There's something that drives me to special needs orphan care that is not so simple and easy as being related.
Reading my Bible last night, I realized with amazement for the millionth time that God does not love me because I've done anything special. He loves me because He chooses to love me. He sees worth and value in me that are completely unrelated to what I am and am not able to do.
And then it struck me.
How can I accept the worth and value God places on me by no merit of my own and yet be unwilling to extend that same worth and value to others?
I can't. It would hypocrisy at its finest. To accept the love that God has for me is to accept the fact that I am just as broken, just as "disabled," just as helpless as any other person on the planet. If this is the case, I have no right to judge the abilities or shortcomings of others. Whether they have a special need, are in prison, or are addicted to drugs. There is nothing I have done that can rise me above anyone else.
Even as I am saved and become a daughter of the Almighty God, His will for my life is not for me to stand above all of my spiritual siblings, but to walk alongside them, loving them in their imperfection as God loves me every day in mine.
For my value is not in what I can or cannot do, but in what God says of me. And that truth is for everyone who believes. Everyone who holds Christ dear to their heart. The convict. The prostitute. The alcoholic. The liar. The popular girl at school. The man in a wheelchair. The child with Down syndrome.
All can find value and worth in God. You just have to accept it.