Who Has The Handicap?

November 28, 2000

Ephesians 1:9 – Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.

        Who Has The Handicap?

    I'm learning each and every day, from a young man who can hardly speak.
    He teaches me something new each day, as I watch him mop and sweep.
    His staggered gait doesn't stop him from walking to work each day.
    And every time I talk to him, he has a smile and a nice word to say.
    As he struggles to open the liner, to empty the trash each night,
    I am reminded of how much he has, vision cleared with true insight.
    He has no degrees or education, but he is wiser than most I've met.
    And tonight I saw him sitting alone, head bowed — he seemed upset
    "What's wrong, Brandon?" I asked. He replied, "Nothing is wrong with me.
    I feel bad for a kid I saw, he's little and can't even see!"
    So when I think I have it bad, feeling down and emotionally flat
    I think of Brandon and start to wonder, … "Who has the handicap?"

          Brian G. Jett ©2000

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (KJV)

A remarkable thing occurred one night recently at work, which put into clear perspective what the term "a walking Bible" truly means. Brandon (the young man who inspired the poem Who Has The Handicap) showed me something profound and eternal. We talked during my one-hour lunch break, and I asked him how he was doing. Without a moment's pause he stated, "I am doing good. I'm thankful!" I did not solicit what he would say next — which made an indelible impact on me and those who were within listening range. "I get on my knees every night and pray and I read the book (Bible) too." He went on to talk about a Bible study he has in his home each week. "I take notes and put them in my pocket and keep them in my pocket all day."

The notes he showed me were difficult to read, as his motor skills, as a result of his cerebral palsy, make it hard for him to write. However, he knows precisely what he writes.

Although my printing is more legible, it dawned on me that, with this being the case, it made little difference, as I sadly cannot think of the last time I took notes during any Bible studies I've been involved in recently. I had no place to hide nor did I have any excuses. For a moment, I wished I could crawl under the nearest table, as I was smitten with guilt and sharply affected by his faith — his unswerving faith! I was simply rendered speechless. When was the last time I got on my knees and prayed? Desperately trying to think of the last time I had done so only further drove the stake of shame and remorse deeply into my very being. Truly, I thought to myself, who has the handicap? The mystery was clearly unfolding in terms of how God was using this spiritually fit young man!

To beat all, as he came over to my desk to clean up the garbage and replace the liner in the trash can, I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder. I looked over my shoulder and there stood Brandon with a smile on his face. He was encouraging me — non-verbally — and I could not easily dismiss the feelings that rushed through my mind during that brief touch from a young man who was fit, truly fit, spiritually. In his way, he was telling me that I was not heavy, but rather his brother. Family doesn't equate to one's progeny or bloodline heritage. Brandon is my brother and a walking (though that is difficult for him to do) Bible in every possible sense of the word!

Let us see each other as brothers and sisters. If we are to know the meaning of success, we must see one another as family, forgive and love each other unconditionally, and recognize that while we're on our way through life's journey, only together will we get there. Brandon defines success the way in which it should be defined. No burden is he, for he is my brother…

Prayer: Dear Father, we are so thankful for the many gifts and talents You have so graciously provided each of us. Forgive us for those times when we have complained. Open our eyes, and aid us in our struggle when we find ourselves spiritually handicapped. Father, we know You have a purpose and plan for each of us, and we ask that You will help us discover Your will for our lives, and then give us the power when weak to press on with passion to finish what You have started in our lives. We ask that those who are suffering will find peace through the intervention of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ's holy name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Brian Jett
Lexington, Kentucky, USA

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