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God Lives Under The Bed
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, return to eat his
favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only
variation in the entire scheme are laundry, 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.
And so goes 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 of
power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of
food he eats.
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 Christ, 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
God seems like his closest companion. In my moments of doubt and
frustrations with my Christianity, 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 Christ.
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 Lord. 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!
When you receive this, say a prayer. That's all you have to do. There is
nothing attached. Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.
There is no cost, but a lot of rewards.
FRIENDS ARE ANGELS WHO LIFT US TO OUR FEET WHEN OUR WINGS HAVE TROUBLE
REMEMBERING HOW TO FLY