Pre-Note: Off the internet from possibly 25 years or so ago. The original version may have had the child’s name as Shaya. This IS a Children’s Story, meant to be read to your children, to foster discussion with them.
Where is God’s Perfection? In Brooklyn, New York, Chush is a school that caters to learning disabled children. Some children remain in Chush for their entire school career, while others can be mainstreamed into conventional schools. At a Chush fundraising dinner, the father of a Chush child delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he cried out, “Where is the perfection in my son Ryan? Everything God does is done with perfection. But my child cannot understand things as other children do. My child cannot remember facts and figures as other children do. Where is God’s perfection?”
The audience was shocked by the question, pained by the father’s anguish, and stilled by the piercing query. ” I believe,” the father
answered, “that when God brings a child like this into the world, the
perfection that He seeks is in the way people react to this child.” He then
told the following story about his son Ryan.
One afternoon Ryan and his father walked past a park where some boys Ryan knew were playing baseball. Ryan asked, “Do you think they will let me play?” Ryan’s father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team. But Ryan’s father understood that if his son were chosen to play it would give him a comfortable sense of belonging. Ryan’s father approached one of the boys in the field and asked if Ryan could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates. Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said “We are losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team, and we’ll try to put him up to bat in the ninth inning.” Ryan’s father was ecstatic as Ryan smiled broadly. Ryan was told to put on a glove and go out to play short center field. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Ryan’s team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Ryan’s team scored again and now with two outs and the bases loaded with the potential winning run on base, Ryan was scheduled to be up. Would the team actually let Ryan bat at this juncture and give away their chance to win the game?
Surprisingly, Ryan was given the bat. Everyone knew that it was all but impossible because Ryan did not even know-how to hold the bat properly, let alone hit with it. However, as Ryan stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Ryan should at least be able to make contact. The first pitch came in and Ryan swung clumsily and missed. One of Ryan’s teammates came up to Ryan and together they held the bat and faced the pitcher waiting for the next pitch. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly toward Ryan. As the pitch came in, Ryan and his teammate swung at the bat and together they hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the first baseman. Ryan would have been out and that would have ended the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman.
Everyone started yelling, “Ryan, run to first. Run to first.” Never in his life had Ryan run to first. He scampered down the baseline wide-eyed and startled. By the time he reached first base, the right fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second baseman who would tag out Ryan, who was still running. But the right fielder understood what the pitcher’s intentions were, so he threw the ball high and far over the third baseman’s head. Everyone yelled, “Run to second, run to second.” Ryan ran towards second base as the runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As Ryan reached second base, the opposing short stop ran to him, turned him in the direction of third base and shouted, “Run to third.” As Ryan rounded third, the boys from both teams ran behind him screaming, “Ryan run home.” Ryan ran home, stepped on home plate and all 18 boys lifted him on their shoulders and made him the hero, as he had just hit a “grand slam” and won the game for his team. “That day,” said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “those 18 boys reached their level of God’s perfection.”
Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be
more feeble, are necessary: [concerning the Body of Christ, the
Church, the Ecclesia]
For our comely parts have no need: but
God hath tempered the body
together, having given more abundant honor
to that part which lacked.
QUESTION: Do we give more abundant honor
to those parts which lack?
NOTE: Perhaps There is a part of “Ryan” in all of us.
is a bit of “Ryan” in all those we meet.
A young lady I know was at a performance in San Francisco one time put on by ONLY disabled men and women. Even the ushers would be in wheelchairs or utilizing crutches. As the performance proceeded the young women started weeping copiously realizing she was just listening to herself speaking through another body as it were.
Am I my brother’s keeper?