Doug’s post below reminded me that I wanted to recycle a post from a few years ago (apologies to those who have read it already). I think it’s topical.
Jessica is the daughter of our friends. Every day, the school bus comes for Jessica, who happens to be the last child on the route. On this particular bus, the kids have assigned seating, and Jessica sits next to the same young boy–day after day. And, day after day, this young, frightened boy cried the whole trip. He was crying when the bus came to Jessica’s house, and he cried the rest of the way to school.
One day, Jessica decided to help the boy. She reached out her small hand, and gently laid it on his arm. The boy stopped crying. The mere touch of another, gentle soul was enough to comfort him. The next day came, the boy was crying. Jessica sat down, reached out, touched his arm, and he stopped crying. This pattern repeated the next few days. She did not have to say anything, her touch was all he needed.
And then, a few days later, something interesting happened. On this day, the boy stopped crying a few blocks before the bus reached Jessica’s house. He knew she would be getting on the bus soon and that was enough to comfort him. She still put her hand gently on his arm, of course. This pattern repeats to this day. The boy stops crying a few blocks before Jessica’s house.
I suppose he can sense where the bus is because of the curves in the road near her house. You see, the boy is blind. He can neither see Jessica, nor her house. He just senses when the bus is almost there.
Jessica’s actions on the bus do not surprise her parents. She has four siblings at home, including a newborn sister. Whenever one of her sisters, or her brother, is hurt, Jessica is there to comfort the child. Offering her gentle shoulder and heart for another’s comfort. That’s who Jessica is–comforter of the hurting. She is also one of the happiest children I have ever seen. There’s always a smile on her face.
Jessica turned five this past February. [She is now eight.] That, in itself, is a miracle. Jessica was born with hydrocephalus. While in her mother, the fluid built up in her tiny brain and damaged it. Jessica also has Down Syndrome. There are many things that Jessica will not be able to do in her life. To some, Jessica should never have been born. Some, having received the news of her condition, as her parents did, by amniocentesis, would have chosen to end the pregnancy, and her life. The reason, I suppose, is that she won’t have much quality of life. She’ll never be a productive member of society. She may not be able to take care of herself. Not much of a life in our modern society.
However, I know one little boy on a bus who knows that Jessica is nothing short of a gift from God.
Maybe the doctor mentioned in Doug’s post below needs to meet Jessica.