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During my recent trip to Gobi-Altai (in the southwest of Mongolia), I visited a small classroom with disabled children, which was started by a JCS worker from Holland. My attention was drawn to a child crying “urh, urh urh,” which sounded like mourning. I saw tears running from her beautiful eyes, which were wide open! Her hands were curved in like stick figures, her legs curled up to her stomach. As the JCS worker picked her up, she kissed the girl’s forehead and cheeks and spoke to her as if the child understood her. Then she told me, “She is seven years old, she has cerebral palsy and is blind.”
I could not comprehend how such beautiful eyes could not see, yet have tears! And the girl looked as if she was only two years old!
Life seems so unfair, so meaningless for families like the one with this child. Most of these children will never run, stand, talk, or sing; they are trapped within a very deformed body. And yet, they are fully human, deserving our love and respect.
As I watched the workers in the classroom, I suddenly realized that for these children and many others, physical touch is spiritual. One cannot reason with these children, or teach them ideas or logic. For them to feel physical touch is an entry to experiencing the Divine Presence!
As I held one of those children, I suddenly felt very small and humble. I felt as if I was touched by an angel, and I heard God’s whisper, “You are my Divine Presence for this little one. She is a child with a promise!”
It makes no difference whether these children were born physically disabled, blind, deaf, mute, with cerebral palsy, or whether they have become disabled due to illness or wrong treatment. For many such children, the main agent to help them become aware of the fact that they are loved, valued, and respected is physical touch.
They may be the least among us, but they are God’s children. Who will be God’s hands to hold them, God’s lips to kiss them, God’s voice to speak truth and love into their little hearts?
As you read this Horizons and hear the stories of these children who are physically, emotionally or economically marginalized, will you pray with us, “Lord, may You strengthen our hands to be Your Divine Presence to these children, to be Your promises of love and hope. Help us to remember them, and create space for them in our lives!”