i was holding david at the park recently when a little girl approached us. she looked at david’s hand and this is the conversation that followed:
girl: what’s wrong with his hand?
me: he only has two fingers. it’s a little hand
girl: it’s scary
me: it’s not scary, its just different
girl: i think its scary
i thought about this conversation a lot. we try to be really open about david’s disability and deformity. children are very curious and engage in conversation more easily than adults. the thing is, she was right. it is scary. anything different can be scary. someone who has a disability, a person who is a different color, a person who is homeless, someone who is overweight, someone who doesn’t speak english. it’s scary to us because we are afraid it could happen to us, or we are afraid we will be the one who is different from everyone else. i want to encourage you to love someone who is different today. the man outside the grocery store who is selling pencils for cerebral palsy, or the homeless woman who sits outside your favorite restaurant. make eye contact and smile. acknowledge that they are a valuable person, loved by God. you don’t have to do much to treat someone with dignity. i love that this little girl approached us and asked questions. even though is was scary for her, she engaged with us and talked about her feelings. maybe we can all be a little more childlike.