That morning, I was the presenter at a retreat for young adults with disabilities. As I stood at the podium, I felt hesitant. Everywhere I looked I saw wheelchairs, walkers, hearing aids, oxygen tanks, and picture boards. Though I had prepared a special talk, I set aside my notes. Leaning into the microphone, I asked: “Has anyone seen God?”
A young man with cerebral palsy slowly raised his stiffened arm. “I see God at church,” he said. Soon, a smiling man with Downs syndrome pointed to the ceiling. “God is in the stars. BEEEE-U-TEE-FUL,” he called out. At one point, a lad with a wide grin simply walked to the podium and patted me on the back. “You’re doing a great job,” he told me. Everyone clapped and cheered.
As I stood there, it felt like I was being drenched in a rain shower of joy.
As the minutes worn on, everyone continued to share their encounters with the Lord. In the midst of it all, I noticed a young girl in a wheelchair; she could barely lift her head. Nonetheless, she waved to me and said: “I see God every day.”
Though I couldn’t make eye contact with her, a reverent silence filled the gymnasium.
“I see God in you…” I told her.
That morning, I had come prepared to give a talk. Instead, I had received the power and presence of Christ.
As you move forward on your Lenten Journey, share your gifts with great joy.
You may receive much more than you give.