“Mommy, I wish my eyes were not broken”
My soon to be 8 year old boy said that to me from the back seat of our van as we were on our way to his first eye therapy appointment and my heart broke. It wasn’t from the words though so much as his tone. He sounded hurt, confused and shy to be saying it out loud. Having been teased myself for my looks and oddity growing up I knew how sometimes our differences could make us feel small and weak, often making us easy targets for teasing and I had a plan as to how to teach my kids to love how they looked and embrace it. This was not part of my plan.
We are each different yet all beautiful
My son has ocular albinism and a handful of other diagnosis that go alongside of it. Originally we were told his vision could be anywhere from able to read and write and drive with glasses to never able to drive and may have to learn braille. As he got older we were thrilled to learn that his ability to see, while impaired, was not severely diminished. We rejoiced and celebrated as he learned to read, write and play with others as though nothing was off. Sure he would clip a wall or tree with his shoulder sometimes or step off a walk without meaning to but he could laugh and play and do things other kids his age was doing.
We felt relief and an amazing sense of being blessed
As my children have grown, I have taught them that, yes, they are different and that is the best part. There is no other child just like them. God has made them just as they are and just how they will be. They are a beautiful creation and a joy to share to others.
One of my children has nearly white hair, another has dirty blonde hair and the third has brown hair. We all have sat around and talked and laughed and smiled about how different we are from each other when we are in the same family. That talking has always turned into how others are different from us and how that is amazing.
God has created us all and we are all very loved.
Right on the spot I told my boy he was not broken. Yes his eyes worked differently than others, but that one day God can and will use that to help others. I told him he was unique and a wonderfully amazing boy just as he was.
We later had a discussion about his uncle whom he loves and is autistic. His uncle is still a wonderful person, is still very loved and shares love with others- and he is not broken. He still touches others’ lives with his joy and humor.
I am slow of speech and slow of tongue. Exodus 4:10b
Moses was an amazing person who served God. He saved God’s people, led them out of Egypt- across a sea and onward. Moses had broken speech. When God told him to go to Egypt, Moses did all he could to convince God that he was not the man for the job, even tried to talk his way out of it because he was “broken”.
God does not see these things we make so big in this world. He created us, knows what we can and will do and sees us as wonderfully, beautifully made. And as Moses found out, there is no arguing with God.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. Psalm 139:16
I had made plans for if and when my kids felt bad because of what others said about them. For the times when people would show their hateful side and the words that were, like knives, STUCK.
But I had not planned for when my child truly saw himself as broken.
A part of me thinks I should have seen it coming and another part realizes that I cannot prepare for everything. What I can do is show my children the love God has for me and for them and help them see that a difference or even a disability does not mean they are broken.
God formed them and knew them before their mother did- and God can and will use this.