04 June 2003

Parenting a special-needs child

Last sunday, while Nancy was in Halifax at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Biblical Studies, our daughter Theresa and I attended a different church, of which three of my colleagues are members. There the children go directly to sunday school and are then brought up by the adults to join their parents for communion.

When the time came for this, I went to the back of the sanctuary, waiting somewhat anxiously for Theresa's appearance. The other children scrambled up the stairs, and I kept expecting to see her face. But she kept on not coming. Finally, there she was, making her way to the top of the stairs with some difficulty, being helped by one of the grownups.

It was suddenly brought home to me as never before that she is physically handicapped. Her premature birth at 26 weeks left her with remarkably few after effects. But she does lag behind her peers physically, and that was painfully apparent to her father last sunday. Theresa is aware of her own physical limitations, and this sometimes makes her wary of playing around other, especially older, children.

Nancy and I would be grateful for the prayers of God's people as we cope with being good parents to a special-needs child. Kyrie eleison!

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