Church has not been my most favorite place recently. Not just the church I work for and attend but church in general. There are so many layers to the discontent within my heart that I'm not going to even try to unpack all of that here. To be honest, it's to close to let out just yet anyway. That said this weekend something happened that destroyed a piece of the discontent.
There is a family in the church that has a son with Downs Syndrome. Danny is about 3 or 4 years older than me. We pretty much grew up together along with Jenny, Danny's girlfriend, who has Down Syndrome as well. They are two of my favorite people. Jenny is just all smiles and hugs. I love seeing her and getting her hugs. Danny, well, I'm pretty sure that Danny has a direct line to God. If Danny says something about God, I listen hard cuz usually God has spoken to Danny's heart directly.
Every year at the church talent show, Danny is usually on stage with his sister Beth. They are a fabulous duo. Beth sings, Danny plays his harmonica. Sometimes it's one of Beth's tunes, but usually it's a Beach Boys tune, Danny's favorites. This year, Beth was in Sweden and so Danny was left to his own devices. He danced. He came in his top hat, his black pants, white tuxedo shirt, bow tie and had his trusty cane at his side. I'm pretty sure he danced to a Sinatra song, but I can't remember, all I remember is watching Danny dance. Danny bowed regally as he was done and then grandly ushered Jenny to the stage. Jenny danced as well, she's been taking lessons for years. She danced in her flowing white dress with her flowing rainbow scarf to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". It was magical. The crowd erupted in applause after both Danny and Jenny danced. There was applause, there were shouts of accolade and there were tears.
The tears were mine. They welled up as I stood in the back holding sweet Emi-pie, both of us engrossed in the beauty of the moment. Two people whom many would discredit and discount, dancing for their audience with grace and confidence. It made me proud to be a part of the church in that moment, proud to have a place where these two precious souls are welcomed, encouraged and loved.