Many of you know my son, Chris and for many of you, this will be the first you hear of him. He is one those people that you never forget, once you’ve met him. It’s not unusual to be out with Chris and run into someone who met him briefly, many years ago, and they will have the biggest, most genuine smile on their face when they come up to say hello and give Chris a hug.
It’s not because of his physical stature. It’s not because of his athletic prowess. It’s not because of his academic accomplishments. It’s not because of his eloquent speech. It’s not because of his professional achievements. It’s not because of his financial success. It’s not because of his physical possessions.
It is because of his love. Pure love. As I write this, Chris is 25 years old, an age by which many young adults are getting established in their life’s course. An age by which the ”cream of the crop” have started to establish an impressive life resume. Chris has this resume, but not in the way that you might think.
You see, shortly after Chris was born, we learned that his development wasn’t progressing as expected. The term we ultimately got for Chris’ condition was Pervasive Developmental Delay. This affected his motor, language, cognitive and learning skills as well as his speech and behavior. This isn’t about what it was like raising and caring for a special needs child and the impact on our family, so I won’t go into that.
What this is about is how true God’s word is and how I have seen it played out in the flesh, in the here and now. In Chris. I am not trying to convert anyone to my beliefs because that’s not my responsibility. I am just sharing what I know to be true based on what I have experienced.
Chris is very intelligent, yet emotionally functions at about an 8-year-old level. So, while he requires a fair amount of guidance in his life, he has that wonderful childlike point of view and innocence about him.
He greets everyone with outrageous enthusiasm, a huge smile and the tightest bear hug he can muster. Chris will excitedly tell you what’s going on in his world and just as excitedly ask what’s going on in yours.
Chris enjoys life and the people in it. Every day. He knows no strangers. If you’re nice to him, and that’s most people, he loves you. Period! It doesn’t matter what you look like, what your beliefs are, what you’ve accomplished or what your abilities are. It never occurs to Chris to think about what you can do for him and he never worries about being provided for.
He’ll tell you if he wants something and never be angry if you say no, even if you give no further explanation. He may ask you 100 more times and even if you say no 100 more times, he’ll never hold it against you.
Chris doesn’t have a good comprehension of time, so if he knows we have something special planned in the future, he looks forward to it every day with the same excitement level. After the event, he’ll talk about it with the same enthusiasm he had each day leading up to it and never let you forget how much he appreciated it (and you)!
When I’m having a rough time, a few minutes around Chris puts me right back on top and appreciating all the blessings I’ve been given.
So, when I read these verses, I know that Chris is God’s pure love, in the flesh and God’s word is true.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
What’s really amazing to me is that no matter what I think of myself, God not only thought enough of me to send His son to die for me, but he also gave me my son, Chris. He used Chris as the tool to bring me to a saving faith, when I had no faith at all and to let me know and feel His love, in the flesh, right here, right now, when I need it most.
Thanks God, and Chris. I love you both!
What do you think?
1 Corinthians 13 (New International Version)
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.