The Face of Jesus and a Bowling Tournament

Today was the regional bowling tournament.  Let me paint the picture, the bowling alley is completely filled with Special Olympic Athletes, their caregivers, family and community members. In the air is excitement and joy, anticipation for a day of fun and impatience that its taking to long to start. Opening Ceremonies – the National Anthem and the presentation of colors, an emotional moment where I am filled with thankfulness and joy. Thankful to be able to see these athletes compete. Thankful that God has redeemed me because He loves me. Thankful because I am beginning to see Jesus in the face of each of these.

My eldest son is a different learner. He has high functioning autism, sensory integration issues, attention difficulties, the list goes on – suffice it to say, until he was 4 you could not understand him and even then it took years for conversation to be easier. Even now texting is easier for him then verbal communication.

Bowling was the first sport that Zach did in Special Olympics. I remember feeling awkward and just out of place. I also remember looking around me and sadness filling me over how little family & community I saw surrounding these athletes. God had been stirring in me since the time Zach was little that there was something bigger than us He wanted in the special needs community.

After reading Love Does, the concept of a “big idea” versus “my plan” is playing over and over again in my mind. God has given me a “big idea” but is very quiet about “a plan.” I like plans but that does not require a lot of faith an idea though is going to require a lot of faith, risk, and obedience.

One of the things that strikes me about Jesus is how he went to people and met their needs. It was about community. I don’t have a lot of extra time, I am a mom to three active boys, 2 teenagers and an elementary student. But what time I do have, am I using it wisely? I tend to use my time selfishly – use it to unplug, stay at home, but not as involved I sense I should be. God is stirring in me a desire to be involved, not a bystander but involved.

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My eldest son (15) and his brother (9) were unified partners and bowled together. The boys took Silver today. The joys on their face because they worked together and worked hard brought tears to my eyes. When I look at their faces I am reminded of the fact that life has ups and downs (the games alone had moments of joy & almost tears). I am reminded of the fact that Jesus calls us to love these. I see the face of Jesus in these athletes and their families.

I want to see Jesus in the faces of all I meet and to be able to see what God is up to in their lives. I don’t want to just go thru life as a bystander…..I want to to be an active part of what God is doing.

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