Monday, November 13, 2006

Mentally Handi-capped?

Once a month I get paid to watch college sports on TV. That probably sounds fun for many but I'm not the biggest college sports fan (or a fan of watching any sport on TV). What is fun is that while watching these sports I hang out with a 20-year old (not sharing his name) who is mentally handi-capped. I use that term "mentally handi-capped" knowing that he is far from such a description.

In his room, stands a sort of prom picture with a girl and him embracing each other. Of course being the tease that I am, I comment with: "Oooh I saw a picture of you and a girl." In his somewhat contemplative loud voice he responds, "Yeah...that's Sara (not real name). I liked her a lot. She like me lot." I continue, "Oh yeah? Ooooh." And then he throws me into a new world. He responds, "She died earlier this summer." I pause with an internal regret for ever bringing her up. But I decided to keep going in humaness: "Oh. Does that make you sad?" Reponse: "Hmm...yeah, but I liked her a lot. And she liked me a lot. We really liked each other."

There joy together was more important than his sadness for her death. He granted an illumination that I have been to selfish to truly consider. He taught me a little of what it means to love and be human. In his world, death is not all that odd. People die. In our world, we are obsessed with making sure people live as long as our machines can provide life. How would we live with each other if we realized that the people in front of us could die tomorrow or even today? I don't know how to answer this, because my Western influence draws me to label the question morbid and dismiss it. It's not morbid. It's human life. I think we would care for each other with a stronger love if we accepted that we are human; not immortal. Perhaps we would enjoy each other.

Just a thought I have been recently called to ponder: To enjoy each other is to enjoy God.

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