Mark S. Archives

Unto the Least of These

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

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.

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

It is beyond axiomatic that the solution to our dependence on fossil fuels is not to be found solely in tapping additional sources of fossil fuels. Nonetheless, it is also apparent that the solution, which will necessarily be multi-faceted and involve a fair amount of societal change, will not happen in the short run (i.e. next ten years). Accordingly, it seems that tapping additional sources to buy time to bridge to the long-term solution makes sense. It makes sense from an economic perspective, as energy costs are a supply side item, and lower supply costs are a boon to the economy, as well as from a national security perspective, money to the Middle East, or Venezuala, funds those who would rather see this nation perish. So, I join the many who say “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less!

Words Fail

Many of you have probably seen this Obituary from the Washington Post, as reprinted in National Review Online’s Corner. If not, read it, especially if you’re a father.

More commentary at this post in the Corner. Pray for this family, especially the son. I know he has close remaining family but I cannot help wondering what he’s going to do with his dad gone.

Cool Word of the Day I Didn’t Know

I love finding new-to-me words in everyday writing. Today’s word is psephology, as in the study of elections. Example: Keith Olberman is to psephology as Ptolemy was to astronomy. Many thanks to Jonah Goldberg for improving my vocabulary.

I Don’t Want you to Change the World, I want you to Prepare us for Change

If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.
General Eric Shinseki, retired Chief of Staff, U. S. Army

“Change” is the new black. Senator Obama has made change the cornerstone of his campaign, promising that he is running “to offer this country change that we can believe in.” Senator McCain of late is also promising change from the same old Washington politics. (Senator Obama, unsurprisingly, has taken some umbrage that Senator McCain, who is a member of the party that has (somewhat) been in control the past eight year, has appropriated the banner of change.)

Here’s my problem: It’s not the change that either candidate intends that matters. It’s the change that is going to befall this country in the next four years that matters. Look, the pace of change in our lives is unlike ever before: the ubiquitous threat of terrorism, more countries joining the nuclear club, information proliferation, emerging economic competition, outsourced jobs. The list goes on forever. Read the rest of this entry