Tuesdays and Thursdays are often draining for me. I begin with an 8 am Developmental Psych class and end with a 4 pm Developmental Psych class. These developmentally bookended days wipe me out. I usually like to go back to my office after the 4 o'clock class, sit in my chair for a few minutes, and just unwind. As I was going through my routine after class last Tuesday, I noticed something already sitting in my chair.
Upon closer examination of the item, I found a hand written note. I will not put everything that was in the note in this post, but the gist of the letter was to tell me how my family was in the author's prayers, and to extend an arm of comfort to me personally. Under the note was a copy of Gene Stallings' book, Another Season.
For those that do not know, Coach Stallings, arguably one of the elite college football coaches, walked away from his career to raise his son. His son had down syndrome. The subtitle of the book took my breath away: A Coach's Story of Raising an EXCEPTIONAL Son. I've spent a lot of time thinking about how Josiah will have to overcome a lot because he'll be a step behind from the get-go. I hadn't once considered that my boy was not disabled, but rather, exceptional.
This got me to thinking about a line of scripture that paraphrased says, the least will become the greatest in the Kingdom. In many ways, Josiah will be looked at as "the least" but in the eyes of his Creator, he is counted among the greatest. Others may see abnormality, but his Creator sees perfection. Many will call him disabled, but my son will be exceptional.
I was immediately humbled. There is more scripture that says the greatest will become the least. I think this is a lesson is humility. Those of us who walk around proud of our normality have a responsibility to recognize the arrogance of our ways. We should accept our weaknesses and become like the least of these so that in our leastness, God can make us great. I was even more humbled when I read the signature on the note - John, and the little line at the bottom right corner of the page, "From the desk of John deSteiguer" President of Oklahoma Christian University.
I am at a place where lessons are constantly being taught to me. I am at a place where the "greatest" is not too busy to pray for and comfort a colleague. I am at a place where my son will not be known for what he can't do, but rather for all that he can, and after all isn't that every daddy's desire?