“Jesus discloses Himself to us in a variety of ways. Sometimes in gradual and unrecognizable ways that become increasingly clear, the way He did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32). Sometimes in sudden and spectacular ways that are instantly clear, the way He did with Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). And sometimes in ways that won’t be clear until the end of time, the way He does when He comes to us in the form of someone who in some way needs us (Matthew 25:31-46)…
We have been taught to wait for Christ when He comes again in that one spectacular moment when everyone everywhere will at last recognize Him for who He is. And so we should look for Him. But sometimes in looking ahead, we don’t look anywhere else, and we miss all the other times He comes." (from Ken Gire’s Seeing What is Sacred)
Christopher de Vinck writes in The Power of the Powerless that his handicapped brother Oliver “evoked the best love that was in us. He helped us grow in the virtues of devotion, wisdom, patience and fidelity. Without doing anything, Oliver made all of us better human beings…The meek and humble of heart do all of us a service when they call us to respond in love. For Jesus said, ‘What you did for the least of the brothers, you did for Me.’”
He also writes: “For me to have been brought up in a house where a tragedy was turned into a joy, explains to a great degree why I am the type of husband, father, writer and teacher I have become. I remember my mother saying when I was small, ‘Isn’t it wonderful that you can see?’ And once she said, ‘When you go to heaven, Oliver will run to you, embrace you, and the first thing he will say is ‘thank you.’’ That leaves an impression on a boy…
Oliver was physically and mentally retarded, but he was not spiritually retarded. I was taught by my parents to look at Oliver and see…the mystery, things that linger, things which stay with us…We can stand before the Olivers of the world and see clearly who we are.”
Through the life of Daniel, these past five weeks, God has been helping me to see what is sacred and to better understand what God has chosen to hide from “the learned and the clever,” He has revealed to “mere children.” (Matthew 11:25) I can remember when we first brought David and Daniel home and we really weren’t sure that Daniel could see or hear. He was so unresponsive. It has been amazing for us to watch him grow in both awareness and responsiveness. And we are so thankful that he can hear and he can see.
I have wondered how often I am like Daniel’s initial unresponsiveness. Having ears to hear but not really hearing. Having eyes to see but not really seeing. Yesterday, Charly shared with our family the Parable of the Sower and the story's meaning: for those who have ears to hear and for those who have eyes to see.
And ultimately, for our hearts to be responsive to the seeds that He is planting.