i have a new friend. we sit on the neighborhood park bench and laugh.. too loud.
we don’t judge each other or each other’s kids.
life is hard enough when you have a child with a learning difference.
one of her sons plays baseball, and her other son stays close to us, satisfied to play with his cell phone or bump into us occasionally.

i was drawn to her precious 11-year old son who has obvious special needs before I ever met her.

from the moment i realized that he was special, i changed my standard. i didn’t hold him up to any other kid in the park. in the world.
i pushed all judgement out and let curiosity and a certain respect come in.

he is funny, isn’t he?…with mischief in his eyes. i bet he keeps you laughing.

although his mother was ready to apologize for everything and anything he did, i immediately issued a statement and a standard of grace.
i’m a special education major. i love differences. all kinds. i have a child with learning differences too. not the same challenges…but still. but still… i think i get some of it.
i want you to know when I am around, you never have to apologize…for anything. i’ll be the last person to notice.

and in the deep, deep part of her stomach, she let go…
of trying to cover up or counter any of his differences.
of trying to be a really great example of a disciplinarian at the park.
of trying to control what was next.

reminds me a lot of some of my favorite friends…
don’t you love it when people just let you be…let you fail, cheer when you succeed…
when you feel safe enough to just let go…
to chase progress and abandon perfection.

i can’t help but to think that God must do the same for us. surely, He must issue a statement of grace to each of us and hold us to a and standard of grace. not compare us to anyone else in the world. ever.
don’t you think that he enjoys us. that he enjoys our differences. that he pushes judgement aside and just takes it in.. the work of His hands.

i think He does.

in all my years walking with the Lord, i have never known him to knock me over the head when i fail or fall out of line. i have always seen Him mercifully move me to the next best place when He had something else for me.

>Today, Lord, help me to enjoy those around me…to extend your grace to myself and others. To know, that I was created in an image that was not meant to be compared with any other.. And remind me, that when I talk to you, I can let go…feel safe, unguarded because you, LORD are full of grace.<