My job is to go to the homes of kids with special needs, and I write articles about the lessons I learn from those kids (or, in this case, their parents).
I work with a 9-year-old girl—let’s just call her Dot—who is unable to speak, but she is able to let you know what she wants. She can walk and jump (a little awkwardly), but from a distance you wouldn’t know anything is different about her.
One day, I was outside with Dot and her Dad—let’s just call him Dad—and we were working on riding a bicycle. While doing so, a car passed by, and the Dad exclaimed, “Everyone is looking at her!” He then mentioned he was going to put up a fence so people wouldn’t stare at his daughter.
I’d watched the car go by as well, and I didn’t notice the driver slow down, gawk, or even look in our direction. But I think I learned a couple lessons from Dad.
- We can get awfully sensitive about things we perceive as different. We’re worried that everyone may judge us regarding those differences (i.e. bald head, big ears, facial asymmetry, feet washing service, closed communion, Book of Mormon), anything really that makes us different.
- Hypersensitivity is not helpful. Whether we are being judged by a passerby or not, we do better to focus on the important things (like helping Dot to ride the bicycle or keeping our services following the Spirit and Word of God).
Is everyone looking at us? Maybe, maybe not.
But as for our eyes, let’s keep them on Jesus.
“And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.
And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come and were partaking of the fruit.
And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.” (1 Nephi 8:26-28)
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.