Gods Plan

August 12, 2011
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Luke 14 verse 12 says this, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind.” I like to think of bible as the official “manual for life.” In this manual God sets the standard for us. He teaches us lessons through the life of Jesus and as Christians we know them to be the truth. However, sometimes it is important for us to learn lessons through our own personal experience. I took the words of Luke and understood them to be what God asks of me. However, not until 3 years ago did I truly understand or live this teaching.

My best friend in grade school was an autistic boy named Brian. He was very kind and never judged. He loved baseball and playing the cello. He was so talented, but he was different and I knew it. I truly cherished every moment we spent together and I made a mistake when I entered middle school. I let Brian only become a face to pass in the halls, not because I didn’t love him anymore but because it wasn’t convenient for me to have a friend who constantly needed my aid. That was selfish of me, very selfish. I no longer even thought about being friends with people that were different from me because I had so many friends that were the same. I did what was best for me. This was before I knew God’s plan for me.

Sophomore year, my theater class put on a show called “The Jellybean Conspiracy.” This show was a symbolic performance preaching that we are all jellybeans in the great big jar of life and though we are all different shapes and colors we are really all the same. More than half the cast in this show were special needs students. The show was not only a lesson for the audience but also a lesson for me. People I once saw as being so different from I turned out to be one in the same. I truly had a remarkable bond with this cast. After the show ended, I didn’t let my friendship with my new friends fade. On thursdays, I work with the autistic class. Together, we dance, play games, make up handshakes, and just have a great time with one another. I find myself eating lunch with my friends. Sometimes we play outside when the weather is nice. These people who society separates us from, became the people I call my best friends today. Even though sometimes it isn’t easy and I have trouble understanding why my friends do certain things, I find myself connecting with them. Not everyone can connect with students with disabilities. Luckily, God blessed me with a gift and I plan to use my gift to not only make new friends but hopefully to change lives.

At prom this year, I left the dance floor to go get some water. I saw Brian with his aid dancing in the corner. After not seeing Brian for 5 years, I needed a reconnection with my childhood best friend. To my surprise, he remembered my name reminding me how special of a friend he really was. I grabbed him and pulled him into the dance floor. He impressed the crowd with his wild moves and at the end of the night, he had more fans than ever. I am so thankful that I was able to reconnect with my friend after having a change of not only heart but a change of mind, thanks to a small performance I did with my improvisation class.

Today I am the coordinator of the Buddy Program at my school. This program encourages the friendships similar to those of the ones I have been lucky enough to have, for other students. I can now take the words of Luke and not only understand them, but live them. I no longer find people different from me “un-friendable.” The gift that my friends with disabilities have given to me is so great and by far the best lesson I have ever learned. These children have changed my life and I plan to use my education at Villanova to change theirs.





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TheMightySuzannah said...
Aug. 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm
This is extremely inspiring! Amazing work. 
 
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