It has been a day…

This is cross-posted at Laced With Grace.

I had a good day at work; my dad has told me many times that it is a privilege for a person to have a job that they like. I am blessed - I don't like my job; I love it.

I'm working with yet another different level of population this year. This is my first permanent assignment in a POHI classroom. POHI = Physically and Otherwise Health Impaired. Among the impairments, CP, birth injuries, pre-birth injuries, traumatic brain injury, down syndrome, autism, vision impairments, sickle cell anemia and a general description of "cognitively impaired".

I cannot describe the range of emotions that I feel when I work with these wonderful, gentle people. I know that there are many "at-risk" populations, but the people that I'm working with this year are fragile in many ways. They are not only physically fragile (with the lowered life expectancy that comes along with that fragility), they are emotionally and mentally at risk as well.

Sometimes I want to cry - could this have been prevented somehow? (in the case of birth injuries, this is a very real question) . How can I help? Should I help? Or will my helping come with the penalty of the loss of muscle tone?

But most importantly, how do I relate to all of these people, as I see them as God's children?

Kindness (being nice) tells me that I should "do" for them. Love dictates that I make them work to keep what they have. Love touches my heart and tells me to be gentle, and it strengthens my heart and tells me to be firm.

Love allows me to see them as people - yet forever children.
Sometimes, in my spiritual walk, I feel as though I'm "stuck" in that childhood. Always in need of something. Needing help, yet needing to work it out for myself.

My struggles, although different, allow me to feel love for that person in the wheelchair, doing her "laps" around the edge of the work floor (we are a sheltered workshop).

Matthew 25:45 Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' (ESV)

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