But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
My niece presented me with a homemade cd and informed me I needed to listen to the song which was recorded there. I got into the car and popped the cd into the player. A mandolin began to strum, filling the car with a sweet mountain essence. Two sentences into the verse I found myself tearfully peering into the rearview mirror at my own special needs son. The words of the song talked about a young man – a special needs child. It spoke of his mother and father and the undying love and care they’d provided for their son. Unsung heroes of sorts.
My son, now 27 years old, sat looking out the car window, gently bending his fingers in a wave at a man walking along the street. His needs, though not huge, are still first and foremost in our lives.
I spoke at a conference last spring where a lady asked me afterwards, “Do you have any regrets with your disabled son?” I wasn’t sure what she meant by that question. There is nothing to regret. I would do for him again, and again, and again. I stand amazed to see the fine young man he has grown into. He is such a teacher, a refiner, a gleaner, and a searcher. Odd descriptive words but accurate if you knew him. I have occasionally mentioned my son or one of his quips but rarely do I fully write about him. Today was different. I wanted you to know about the full grace of God.
Raising a child with mental retardation is hard –even on a good day. There is frustration, pain, anger and impatience that fall into the mix of parenting these kids. I have times that I cry for my son – wish better for him. However, never once in my life have I wished that he was not my son.
I find myself overwhelmed by the shear wisdom God has given him. He teaches me from the innocence of his heart. He rebukes me from his simple understanding of the Word, and he proves to me daily what it means to be meek and gentle. He has a full grasp of what it is to be a servant. There are haunting questions that follow me concerning his future. How will he manage without me should I die? Will he be okay?
He and I were chatting and I reminded him of his necessary routine. “Mom,” he said with the wisdom of Solomon, “His grace is sufficient.” He’d heard me use that scripture in church on Sunday morning and it stuck.
I can’t tell you that he grasps the meaning of all the things he says. He’s very much like a parrot at times. However I can tell you that by the grace of God, he is my teacher. I wish you knew my son (we call his wisdom, Chase-isms). When you look at him, you are looking into the face of Christ and I promise he will humble you.
The clock ticked past 3:00 a.m. and I sneaked into his bedroom, leaned over him and gently kissed his forehead. He is still, in so many ways, a small child frozen in time when he sleeps. I realize he is right. God’s grace is sufficient.
So I asked God this question. “Why Chase? Why any child?”
The Father stood smiling, hands propped on his hips, head cocked to one side. “Why what?”
“Why the mental retardation?”
He replied, “Why not?”
I felt a bit angry for a moment before God nudged me and said, “Mental retardation has nothing to do with the man that he is, now does it?”
“No, I guess not.”
“The standard you set for him is your own. Not mine. And trust me, he far exceeds your standards. In fact, he’s far more blessed than the average person.”
I brushed a tear away with my forefinger. “He is?”
“He sees what you cannot. He understands what your mind’s expectations prohibit you for grasping. He is gentle, and he is adored by many. He gives of his heart, not of his possessions.”
“I know, he is blessed.”
“Blessed is an understatement. He is my loyal servant. Most will never grasp that. His disability is actually very enabling. So don’t morn for his mental capabilities for he is my child. Cared for 100%.”
“Really?” I asked. “But what if I die? Who’ll….what will…”
The Father pulled me close and kissed my forehead. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”