He was middle aged, had Down Syndrome, and spoke no English, but he said hello and quickly answered my introductory question about how long he had worked in that shop. I apologized for not understanding his answer and he realized that I was at a disadvantage in this conversation.
In the act of writing White Picket Fences, Amy Julia points with humility and gentleness to a kind of confession that refuses to only be part of the problem. It is possible to both acknowledge complicity and privilege and to work towards a better, more truthful, future.
Receiving from Jesus means we understand he is inviting us into new rhythms of life that often demand we slow down and genuinely reflect upon what he is up to. In so doing, Jesus is actually revealing the gifts of our Christian discipleship- his kindness and gentleness.
In the four years since, I’ve had much to read, learn, and reflect upon. This new life God has given has challenged us on every front. From doing away with typical parenting milestones, to adopting wider and more expansive views of God’s grace and the beauty of his diverse people. Amidst all of this, my calling to pastor and minister continued. While learning this new life with its new language and new conversations, I’ve also had to continue to lead. At times that task has been beyond difficult and completely overwhelming.
In a recent BBC documentary, Sally Phillips explores the potential ramifications of a new, less-intrusive screening test for Down syndrome.
When we look into the eyes of another, especially if that person is our son or daughter, it changes us. We begin to understand what it means to be created in the image of God, to be fearfully and wonderfully made.
The Globe and Mail reported a recent Danish headline that reads “Plans to Make Denmark a Down syndrome-free perfect society”. In Denmark the discussion is taking place regarding aborting fetuses with Down Syndrome so their society will be “free of” such people around 2030.