Matthias is ten years old. He’s the younger brother, but because his older brother was born with special needs, he functions as the big brother. At school, he was given a writing assignment to share thoughts on someone he cares deeply about. He chose his brother, David. His teacher shared the essay with us at our parent/teacher conference and I was, of course, tearing up at his sweet words and insights. Can I share it with you?
My Brother, David
By Matthias Leonard, age 10
A person I have strong feelings about is my brother. His name is David Stephen Leonard. The reasons I have very strong feelings about him is because he has a birth disease called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. He has two fingers on one hand and five on the other.
He can’t speak but we understand him by his emotions and feelings. Also, he teaches me something. Despite someone’s outside, everybody is the same on the inside. So when you see someone with special needs, see the world in their eyes. And remember, they aren’t that different from you.
I tend to protect David despite his naughtiness. The reason I have strong, protective feelings for David is because he is part of my family and for the reasons you just read. That is why I love David.
* * *
Such sweet words. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses. In Psalms 139:13-14, the psalmist David says,
“For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
We are all knit together by the same God. Each of us precious and loved. David’s outside is different. And he can’t communicate with words. But his insides, and his soul are very human–just like you and me.
Can the words of a ten-year-old encourage you today? I hope they remind you that just like David, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are precious and loved, just the way you are. You don’t need to change or do better. You don’t need to lose 10 pounds or prepare healthier meals for your family. You don’t need to have a tidier house or keep up with emails.
You were created by a loving God and you are being redeemed by Christ.
There is not one thing you can add to what Christ has already done.
You are loved and accepted JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
And that is beautiful. That is where I find hope for today.