JOSHUA

About 20 years ago (2002), I decided to become a Special Ed teacher.

I had been substituting for almost a year, and I would often be a sub as an assistant for the severely handicapped, or for the teacher in a learning disabled classroom.

After I had a few classes under my belt, I put my resume out to a few schools in the area. I received two calls for an interview—both took place the same day.

I was hired for both positions. One was as a teacher’s aide, which was to start immediately, and the other was as a classroom teacher to begin the following school year.

As the aide, I was given charge for one little boy named Joshua.

Joshua was severely disabled in many ways. There was not a single tooth in his little head that pointed in the normal direction—and he only had a few of those.

He was a nine-year-old with the mentality of a three-year-old. He had the gait of Gollum (Lord of the Rings). That gait, though, did not slow him down. He loved to run away, which he did often—until I came along. He ran only once while I had charge of him.

He also had a reputation for biting, which he did to me only once.

I incorporated a different method for dealing with Joshua than what the books and regulations called for.

However, that is not the story here.

One day, as I was driving the 35 miles to the school, I was praying for Joshua.

Can you see My perfection in Joshua’s imperfection?

All of a sudden I heard (it was as if I heard a voice in the car), “Can you see my perfection in Joshua’s imperfection?”

As the tears welled up in my eyes, I had to pull over.

The question cut me to the quick.

I had built my life around my ability to judge others, and Joshua was far from perfect. But, not in God’s eyes.

God sees His creation as perfectly good—scars, warts, and all.

From that day until now, I am still unravelling the mystery of God’s perfection in all things; and I cry (as I am now) every time I think about the day God showed me His love for all His creation.

And, as many teachers do, I cried the last day of school as I watched Joshua get on the bus with my heart and his crooked-tooth smile of joy.