I Want to Be More Like My Disabled Son

I Want to Be More Like My Disabled Son

Several months ago my son badly bruised his heel while having a seizure. As he walked around the house before school, it was a pattern of grimace, smile, grimace, smile, grimace, smile, grimace, smile. Then when he found his special chair and got the weight off his foot, he sang.

It was amazing to watch. I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it before.

He wasn’t trying to put on a brave face; he isn’t capable of doing that. What he’s feeling inside comes out on his face and through his voice. His foot really hurt, and he was really happy.

His example puts me to shame. Most likely, I would have given into the temptation to let the world know how miserable I was over a bruised heel. Or, self-righteously, I might have ‘toughed it out.’ But there would have been no song to go with it.

But my boy sang. He can’t even understand his pain, and he sang.

My Paul’s disabilities encourage him to live in the moment. He doesn’t think a whole lot about the future or the past or about consequences.

And because of his disabilities he manifests a character that I long to have. He is never anxious about what he will eat or wear (Matthew 6:25). He is quick to forgive (Colossians 3:13). He expects good gifts from his father (Matthew 7:11). He is sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything (2 Corinthians 6:10)

And that day he added: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice (Philippians 4:4).

Yes. I want to be more like him.

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John Knight is Director of Donor Partnerships at Desiring God. He is married to Dianne and together they parent their four children: Paul, Hannah, Daniel, and Johnny. Paul lives with multiple disabilities including blindness, autism, cognitive impairments and a seizure disorder. John blogs on issues of disability, the Bible, and the church at The Works of God.