Connect by Taking the Initiative
“For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people but to be wise and strong [courageous] and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7 LB).
RAMBLINGS from Connor’s dad – When Connor was probably 6 years old, we were out somewhere and he saw a little child in a wheelchair. The child didn’t look like other kids because of different problems he had with his spine. His smile wasn’t as pretty as the other kids. The little boy didn’t seem to speak so well.
I can only imagine what must have gone through our 6 year old’s mind. Thankfully, Kris was with us and answered the litany of questions that came out of Connor. After a few minutes, Kris asked Connor if would he like to go over and speak to the little boy. Connor paused for a minute and thought about it. Kris talked him through walking over and saying hi, telling the little boy his name, and a few generic questions. She encouraged Connor to look the little boy in the eye and to smile. She also reminded him to do the same to the mother of the little boy.
Off our brave little 6 year old walked. His steps were timid at first, but soon they were replaced with purpose. I watched our little boy go over and say hi to the boy in the wheelchair. After a few minutes we realized Connor was comfortable with the situation, so we sat down to watch. Moments passed by. The conversation went on as the mother got involved, apparently helping answer some of Connor’s questions. Finally the questions subsided, Connor told the little boy goodbye, and walked back to us.
A few minutes later the mom caught up with us, and with tears streaming down her face, told us thank you. She went on to tell us that was the first time another child had come up to her boy to speak with him, and not make fun of him. She went on and on and ended up talking to Kris for several minutes, as her husband watched their son. For a few minutes we all saw a difficult world through her eyes. That event changed us all a little, but none more then Connor.
He helped us teach his siblings a compassion for people that even now I struggle to keep up with. Recently while home from school Connor and I bumped in to a kid from his old high school. The young man lit up when he saw Connor. As he spoke to “Con-a”, I watched my eldest smile and reply to the young man with special needs. As we walked away he told me that was one of his “special” friends he used to sit and have lunch with at school.
I look back at some of the “misfits” Connor has embraced and befriended over the years. I am reminded of Jesus. When He walked among us, He didn’t seek out the prettiest and richest. Jesus spent time with some of the “misfits” that society looked down on. He spent time with people who were broken. And to those who were willing, He Fixed them. Why? Because of His incredible love and compassion. If you don’t believe me, just look at His hands!
I cross paths everyday with “misfits”. A few people who are in physical wheelchairs, but many more in spiritual and mental wheelchairs. I pray that today I can impact somebody’s life, like my 6 year old did so many years ago…love on them a little, and point them to Jesus!…
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)