Special Needs Friends

I was very touched and felt very bless today to witness the wonderful attitude of one of the many special needs patrons that comes to the temple.  I’m sure anyone who works in the temple can testify what an honor and blessing it is to help them out.  Just to watching their courage and determination is truly moving.

There is one patron in particular that usually comes to do a session on Fridays.  Since we stopped working on Fridays, I haven’t had a chance to see her in a while.  Today I substituted for someone who will be returning the favor to me next month, so I got to go in on a Friday.

Kristin is a favorite of most of the temple workers that have had an opportunity to serve her.  This is a young woman whose body is stuck in a wheel chair with little control over her body movements and who can’t do things physically for herself.  Other than being able to operate her motorized wheel chair….. she is very limited in what she can do.  She has a VERY difficult time forming words and trying to communicate.  In fact, it’s hard to understand her.  Though she is stuck in a body that can’t do much….. she is all there mentally.  That was very evident to me today.

Part of participating in a session in the temple requires you to repeat some verbiage.  Most people don’t have trouble with that part.  Oh, they may forget exactly how it goes once and a while, but that’s what the temple workers are for…. to help them through it.  But, Kristin….. she needs NO help with the verbiage…. it just takes her 10 minutes to get it out.  I wasn’t the one helping her today, but I sat and listened to her as she struggled to speak.  Though the words were garbled….. I knew exactly what she was saying….  Obviously, because I know the verbiage….but I could actually make out some of the words.  I was almost in tears as I listened and watched and saw her give all the strength she had to make it through this part.  She seemed exhausted when she finished.  What an inspiration she is.

Our special needs friends can teach us so much.  They can touch our lives in a way that no other can.  They have strong wonderful spirits inside of bodies that are limited.  I’ve heard it said that some of the Lord’s most valiant spirits were sent here to earth in a body, and sometimes even a  mind, that is limited because that was the Lord’s way of protecting them from Satan.  I don’t know if that’s true or not…. but so many of our special needs friends have such strong spirits…. they just can’t always communicate it!

I’m sure many of you could share stories of how a special needs person in your life has touched you in a profound way.  While it may be their trial here on earth to endure a physical or mental hardship…. our trial is in how we treat and love them!  We are all Gods’ children and deserve to be loved.

I’m grateful for Kristin and for other patrons and friends like her that remind me that we don’t need a perfect body to express our love and devotion to our Heavenly Father.  I feel their efforts will be blessed an hundred fold!  I’m grateful to have my life blessed by knowing them.

I am Grateful!  How are you?



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