A Treat

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    Just Thinking
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    My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that’s
    what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his
    dark bedroom, and I stopped outside his closed door to listen.
    "Are you there, God?" he said.

    "Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed." I giggled softly and
    tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin’s unique perspectives are often
    a source of amusement.

    But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I
    realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.

    He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of
    difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he’s 6-foot-2), there
    are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and
    communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year- old, and he always
    will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed,
    that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree
    every Christmas, and that airplanes stay up in the sky because
    angels carry them. I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is
    different.

    Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? Up before dawn
    each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to
    walk our cocker spaniel, returning to eat his favorite macaroni-
    and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.

    The only variation in the entire scheme are laundry days, when
    he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with
    her newborn child.

    He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every
    morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his
    hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner,
    and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for
    his next day’s laundry chores.

    And Saturdays–oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That’s the day my
    dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the
    planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each
    passenger inside. "That one’s goin’ to Chi-car-go!" Kevin
    shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he
    can hardly sleep on Friday nights. I don’t think Kevin knows
    anything exists outside his world of daily rituals and weekend
    field trips.

    He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent. His life is
    simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth or
    power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears
    or what kind of food he eats. He recognizes no differences in
    people, treating each person as an equal and a friend. His
    needs have always been met, and he never worries that
    one day they may not be.

    His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he
    is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the
    carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a
    job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is
    finished.

    But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is
    not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is
    pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must
    be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of
    argue.

    Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is
    not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always
    transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God. Not confined
    by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to God, he comes
    as a child. Kevin seems to know God–to really be friends with
    Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated" person to grasp.
    God seems like his closest companion.

    In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my faith, I envy
    the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is then that I am
    most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that
    rises above my mortal questions. It is then I realize that perhaps
    he is not the one with the handicap–I am. My obligations, my
    fear, my pride, my circumstances–they all become disabilities
    when I do not submit them to God.

    Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After
    all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying
    after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of the God. And
    one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are
    all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I’ll realize that
    God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God
    lived under his bed. Kevin won’t be surprised at all.

    Author Unknown

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