Elizabeth Laurel in her August 12, 2021 post reported the staggering number of abortions occurring worldwide to babies who were determined to have Down Syndrome. Too many parents do not want to bring to term these individuals for many reasons; but the one common denominator for all of them is a Down child is “imperfect” and will not live a “normal life”. It is quite a shame culture sees these human beings as less than “perfect” and cannot see past the physical to view the depth of these spiritual and holy persons who are truly agents of God’s grace.
Such a case has come to our attention and it is a story which has to be told. The COVID pandemic has affected physically many people who become so sick they are in need of hospitalization, most often starting in intensive care units. Our main actor is one of those stricken with the disease. He is a Down Syndrome young man in his thirties (photo above) who was admitted to a major trauma center in a big city suffering from the COVID. As with most of these cases, the virus attacks the respiratory system so hard the lungs of the patients become so compromised the patient needs help breathing via a ventilator. Our Down Syndrome patient was no exception. He was on the ventilator for weeks and was given a tracheotomy to remove the very uncomfortable tube down his throat, but still was on the ventilator connected to the tracheotomy directly. Because he had the ventilator tube down his throat for so long, he had lost his ability to speak. Even with the tracheotomy he still has not regained his speech. As of this writing, he is being weaned off the ventilator at a very slow rate. He still has a long way to go, but hopefully he is making progress and our prayers are with him.
A Young Imperfect Man is an Agent of Grace
On one particular day, the attending physician in the ICU made his rounds and one of the rooms he stopped at was our Down’s patient. It was quite clear from his family and attending nurse, the doctor was not in particularly good humor. This is not meant to chastise the doctor because we don’t know what kind of day he was having, or what burden he carried at the time. But he was nevertheless somewhat cold and very clinical.
Without speaking the doctor went about checking out the patient. When he had completed his examination, the young Down patient mouthed, “Thank You.” At that moment, the doctor was somewhat stunned and stood up straight because he obviously did not expect such a response. While standing there without any words spoken, the patient extended his hand in an effort to shake the doctor’s hand. After a few seconds of awkwardness, the doctor extended his. Those two small gestures may have made the doctor’s bad day just a bit better.
Without a doubt, the young man was the conduit of God’s grace. How many times have the “imperfect” been the agent of God’s grace daily? How thankful we should all be that God created these remarkable individuals and how sad we all should be because of the many other instances which have been lost forever.
When the doctor finally left the room, the young patient motioned to his nurse who had tears in her eyes to get him hand sanitizer, he learned his lessons well. God sure does have a sense of humor. Not only did our patient bring God closer to the doctor, he most assuredly brought him closer to his nurse that day.
“Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor 12:10