Sometimes I forget that Finn is different. He does everything three year olds do. Just most of those things he does sitting between two wheels.
Every now and then I’m surprised when others react to him.
Like last week I came to pick Finn up from school and four tiny girls crowded he and I at the door. They asked a million innocent questions, from “Why is he in that wheelchair?” to “How does he sit in the car?” to “Why does he still wear diapers?” Kennedy even told me that she used to have a pink wheelchair when she was a baby. I think she was confused. 🙂
After I had fielded the questions as best as I could and we were trying to squeeze through the door, Finn asked if he could give one little girl a hug. She was standing in front of him staring. She said, “No, he can’t give hugs. He’s in a wheelchair.” My stomach dropped and so did Finn’s countenance. “He’s great at giving hugs,” I said. “Watch!” We hugged and I pulled her in too. Finn zoomed away unfazed, but I was reminded that three year olds don’t typically roll. He’s different.
Our LifeKids volunteers at church are incredible. Saints. One woman in particular told us a story about Finn from Family Reunion.
She wasn’t too thrilled to be serving that day, if she was being honest. She reluctantly entered the three year old classroom where she thought she’d simply keep the peace and wipe snotty noses. I’m sure she did plenty of that, but she was also blessed by the attitude of our little man. She said he was joyful, interactive with the other kids, and at one point he made her day:
“Can I tell you a secret?” Finn whispered in her ear, “Jesus loves me…and my wheelchair.”
I love this because Finn recognizes–better than I do–that God loves the things that make us different. No, I do not believe God delights in the fact that Finn is disabled. But I believe God delights in Finn despite his disability. And maybe even more so because of it. He wheels through crowds like he owns the place, unaware of (or indifferent toward) the staring and pointing that is so natural.
I know a day will come when Finn’s confidence will be shaken, but I’ll revel in his courage and self-assuredness until then.
Do you love the things about you that make you different?