Monday, February 10, 2014

Who among us doesn't have special needs?

"they shall attend to his needs"
Numbers 3:7

I was reading an article in a magazine the other day, about families with special needs* kids.  It was encouragement and a little bit of advice.  Nothing unusual or remarkable really. 

{ *Can I just say how much I love the phrase "special needs"?  
I love how it encompasses so many different scenarios, 
while emphasizing specialness, in a positive way.}

But there was an interesting quote in there, from a child.  It was a sibling of a special needs child, and he said to his mother, "I think God gave Brandon to us because He knew we would take good care of him."

Don't you just love that outlook?  That child recognized that his brother was higher maintenance than average children, but instead of seeing it as a responsibility for his family, he saw it like they were specially chosen for that child.  I think that's very sweet, and very true.

I think it caught my eye because it's something we've said in my family, about our dog, Holly. 

Holly, as I've mentioned before, is a dog of very-little-brain.  Well, that's not totally true.  She's bright, and mostly obedient.  But that phrase hearkens back to Winnie the Pooh, whom Christopher Robin referred to as a "Bear of Very Little Brain".  And I think in the case of our sweet girl, it accurately conveys how simple and pitiful she is. 

Pitiful, because of her fear.  She's afraid of strangers, and people we know well... she's afraid of other dogs, even little ones... she's afraid of noises of all sorts.  She barks for a lot of out-of-the-ordinary noises, and hides behind a chair in the living room in other cases.   She's afraid of the vacuum cleaner even if it's not on, and going for rides in the car, and she gets nervous if we do something unusual like move furniture.

The point is, she's high maintenance.  She takes a little more care, and a little more effort, and a little more understanding than the average dog.  And my kids have more than once commented that it's a good thing she came to our family, because we are what she needs.  We take good care of her. 

I like to think it was part of God's design.  That I have the perfect kids for me, and the perfect parents for me.  That my sisters and my husband and my closest friends are in my life, and I am in theirs, because God knew we would understand and care for one another. 

But I guess that's just how love works.

~ "If we love one another,
God abides in us,
and His love has been perfected in us." ~
1 John 4:12

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