Monday, December 8, 2008

Someone Else's Shoes

Saturday was the Stone Soup Christmas camp at church. Danny and I have never worked with special needs families before but we were really being led to serve this ministry. It seems like over the last few weeks it has just been in our face if you know what I mean. It was obvious that God wanted us there.

Anyway, I had the blessing of working with the children of a dear friend of mine. She has twin boys ages 3 that are autistic. Lorinda and I took care of them and their other two siblings for the day. Her children were absolutely wonderful the entire time. And it was a long day for them. I have to say that spending the day with these boys gave me a small insight as to life in someone elses shoes. At first the boys were distant and we couldn't get them to sit in a chair for 5 seconds to do a craft or any activity but we quickly learned that these little angels were full of energy and wanted to get it out! So we spent a good part of the day just letting them run and play. They love things with wheels, especially cars. There was a push cart that they liked riding on. By the end of the day they had warmed up to us enough that they played a game where they would sit and wait for you to open your arms and then run too you and bless you with a big old hug. It was great. The boys don't talk so it was a little tough getting to know their likes and dislikes but we made it through.

Being with these children for a few hours and seeing what their parents go through each day to make life as normal as can be for their families made me realize how truly fortunate I am to have three healthy children. The ability of communication is such a huge gift that we take for granted. Another is the ability for our children to focus and find contentment in the company of others. Now, I'm not saying these children are not perfect in every way. God made them so we know they are. I'm just saying it made me realize that what I go through day to day is nothing compared to the daily lives of the parents I met on Saturday.

The next time I get frustrated with my kids because they are being too chatty I will think back on this and be thankful for it.

If you are not familiar with the Stone Soup story here it is:

The Stone Soup Legend

There exists a tale, handed down from times long ago, of two travelers on a pilgrimage. Hungry and tired from a long day’s journey, they come to a small, impoverished, medieval village, where they decide to rest by the side of the road. One of the travelers builds a small fire, upon which he places a large pot, while the other, having drawn water from the town well, fills the pot and places into the vessel a simple stone. As the two men sit by the fire, bringing their "stone soup" to a boil, the local villagers become inquisitive of the curious antics of these strangers. Eventually, several townsfolk decide to investigate the matter and approach the two travelers to engage them in conversation.

Shortly thereafter, there is heard the sound of merriment, as the visitors, who turn out to be quite friendly, share their tales of the lands and people they have met throughout their journey and pilgrimage with the local villagers.

Finally, a young boy asks the travelers "But why, pray thee, are you boiling a stone?"

One of the pilgrims replies, "So we may eat stone soup."

"It must be terribly bland!" says an old woman. "But I have a cabbage, which will add some flavor!"

"And I, some carrots, which will add color!" says another villager.

"Some potatoes!", offers another, until, shortly, by the contribution of a little by many, a hearty stew was made, upon which the entire village and the weary pilgrims dined... and while doing so, shared their tales, talents, and camaraderie throughout the night.

The very next day, the travelers (who by now could be called "strangers" no more), continued their journey, leaving the little town, and its people, behind. But the villagers never forgot them, and the lesson they had learned. In fact, during the hardest of times, in such a time as this tale, that little village thrived, because the townsfolk never forgot how to make "stone soup".

Such is the legend of the "Stone Soup Story".


  1. Wow such a touching post. It feels so good to help out others, especially around the holiday season. I am glad you had the opportunity. Isn't funny how God just places things in front of us. Sometimes in helping others we have insight in what he was trying to tell us. The family you helped sounded so sweet and I am sure they were blessed. Take care, Aunt Erin

  2. This is an experience that will remain in your heart forever! God uses all His children to teach us all a REAL life lesson on LOVE.
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  3. I agree 100%. I am in awe of these families and their precious children. I definately want to serve in Stone Soup more often - these special ability children have a special place in my heart!

  4. Thank you for sharing what God revealed to you as you served. Your insights are touching and so true; I used to have many children with special needs in my classrooms, and I remember thinking many of the same things.

    Enjoy your beautiful family this Christmas, as I know you will! Hey, and maybe I'll even get to see you on Thurs.? :)

  5. Great story and thank you so much for sharing!