About six years ago, my daughter, who is now 9, was diagnosed with some significant developmental delays. Though it was a very difficult and painful time for me, God used Sophie’s delays to ingrain in me a deep love and appreciation for people with special needs. As I waited with my daughter at doctor’s offices and at therapy appointments, I met many wonderful children with disabilities and their parents, and came to understand how important these amazing people are to the kingdom of God. Even though, after a few years of therapy, my daughter is now like any “typical” kid, our family’s love and support for people with disabilities is strong and active. We have claimed John 9: 1-3 as a verse that explains why Sophie went through her struggle:
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him,“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
A couple of years ago, I saw this video of then 9-year-old Millie Hunt being baptized. Her mom also used John 9:1-3 to talk to Millie about the fact that she had nonverbal autism. With the help of an iPad, Millie can communicate quite well, and she was able to understand God’s love for her and to trust Christ as her Savior. Her entire exchange with her mom and her receiving Christ was captured on her iPad, and when I saw this breathtaking video, I bawled and bawled. This is a perfect example of how God uses disability for His glory! I encourage you to watch it—like I said, it’s been over two years since I first saw this video, and since then I’ve watched it many times. I simply can’t forget about it. Millie’s testimony and the beauty of her disability shine through like nothing I’ve ever seen. God truly, truly does make us all just as we are supposed to be, and He is so, so good to us.
Millie’s pastor also wrote an article about her baptism and testimony, and his words are truly beautiful as well. He says in part:
As followers of the crucified Messiah, our eternal hope is bound up in strength displayed through weakness (2 Cor. 13:4), and followers of Jesus the Christ are commanded to take up their cross and follow him (Matt. 16:24). Consequently, gospel community is formed by and nourished by strength through weakness. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ ought to be the one place in the cosmos where weakness is rightly valued and where we know that physical and mental strength is not wellness. The church is not a gathering place for the cultural elite but a sovereignly designed community of the ignoble, weak and low (1 Cor. 1:24-31). This is never clearer than in the physically and mentally challenged people who are followers of Jesus Christ. They are a gift to the church because they do not have the mirage of strength in which many of us trust.
I pray that Millie is a blessing to you today, and that you will share this far and wide so that God can be further glorified through her!