Yesterday I watched a video that somebody posted on Facebook. It was incredibly disturbing. I can’t get it out of my mind. Here it is.
This video is upsetting on so many levels. The whole interview is not available to view but apparently Ms Ironside, throughout the course of the interview, lumps “the fatherless”, and “the disabled” into the category of unwanted children. In her pro-choice worldview, this is all it takes to deem a child unqualified to live.
I hardly even know where to begin with this and I have to admit, I had to pause and take a moment to breathe and reflect so I could prayerfully respond to this woman’s foolish remarks. Instead of spending my time pointing out how (deeply) flawed her reasoning is, I thought I would, instead, draw a contrast and use this as an opportunity to highlight a couple of my personal heroes.
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless;
maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
Psalm 82:3 (NIV)
I have had the great privilege of knowing many disabled and special needs people throughout my life. They are a constant source of inspiration as they meet life’s challenges with a sense of joy and wonder and overcome the obstacles of everyday living. Behind the scenes, tirelessly cheering them on, is a team of parents, teachers, and caregivers who are devoted to caring for these precious souls. One of these was Eleanor Prime.
Eleanor was a force to be reckoned with. She devoted her life to caring for the developmentally disabled and worked as a special education teacher in Orange County schools for over thirty years. When she retired she came to her pastor, my dad, and asked what she could do to help serve in the church. They discussed the great need for a ministry geared toward developmentally disabled adults. At the time, no such ministry existed in a church in Orange County and Eleanor knew how desperately the families of these precious people would benefit from such a program.
The call went out from “Mrs. Prime” and before long former students and their families were gathering together on Sunday mornings and throughout the week for various social events. We never imagined how much these incredible people would impact our congregation and they became vital, integrated members of the church body.
As an extension of this ministry, Eleanor wanted to build a group home to house these adult children in the event of the death of their parents. So many of these parents had expressed their fears to her over the fate of their children as they were aging. With tireless determination, the Eleanor Prime Group Home became a reality.
There are some people who you expect will live forever. Eleanor Prime was such a person. Her sudden illness and death left a gaping hole in the lives and hearts of those who loved her and knew her best. Personally, she helped me navigate the maze of 504’s and IEPS’s within the public school system. She was someone I could always count on for sound advice, a helping hand and a warm hug.
Mrs. Prime is with her heavenly Father, but she lives on in the Eleanor Prime Group Home and the sweet group of ladies who reside there. When we are privileged to have them join us at church on Sunday, I see the legacy of my dear friend living on.
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Thessalonians 1:3
My other personal hero is my niece Aleisha. She is a non-stop OMG on-fire ball of energy~ LOL! She doesn’t answer a question in single syllable responses – ever, but in rapid-fire stream-of-consciousness dialogue. BTW, she is beautiful, sweet and generous, to a fault.
Aleisha is an Educational Assistant (EA), and works with kids who have special needs or learning disabilities. She is also a respite caregiver to one very special boy. His name is Caleb and he is my nephew and her cousin.
Caleb is autistic and Aleisha is the angel who provides Nadine and Randy with the much-needed breaks that every parent of an autistic child so desperately needs.
Aleisha is a miracle child. She beat the odds when she was born severely premature and despite the doctor’s dire predictions for her health and her life, is a living, breathing testimony of God’s answered prayers. She should not have survived her mother’s traumatic pregnancy. She was not supposed to survive the first days of her life. I remember her tiny little body in the hospital and how we all prayed every day that she would make it through one more night.