The dogwoods are blooming. I am returning home this morning from a poetry retreat. A son lives in a town between the retreat site and home. I call him, thinking we might have lunch together. He says, “Haven [my grandgirl] is in the Special Olympics today. Why don’t you meet me at the football field and watch her run a race, throw a ball?” I do not hesitate.
After an hour’s drive, I greet my son in the bleachers, settle in, look around. Not your typical players on the field. Wheelchairs here and there. Colorful t-shirts proclaim each Special Ed student to be amazing, a hero, a champion. I read hope on faces.
These young people and the adults from Independent Group Homes have as much fight in them as street fighters. They have fought to live. Now they fight to win. Beautiful how they also freely receive what God has to give. A mystery. God is in the details. They live with losses of health, losses of control, losses of a common path.
But I see no disappointment, no grief. What I see is a stadium crowded with God and His grace.
I hear someone wanting to know where to put her jacket, another saying, “I’ll take care of it for you.” As they run, throw, walk, shotput, the volunteers, family, and teachers yell encouraging words. “Go, Mary! Come on, Sam, you’re almost there! You can do it! You ARE a winner, Joe! Run, run, run! Good job! Hooray! Congratulations! So proud of you, Haven!”
Indeed, this is where amazing happens.
I have no idea how any of the stories here will work out, not even Haven’s. God knows that story. I do not know where it leads, what it means, or why He made her special. There are things in this world that I’ll never understand, but God does.
Parents, volunteers, and teachers seem as strong and steadfast as any soldier ready to sacrifice and serve at a moment’s notice. God’s soldiers.
This is a God-place today.
P.S. Comments are invited in the section below. Thank you.
Photo by Pat Durmon at the Harrison High School Stadium, Harrison, Arkansas, Friday, April 7, 2017.