Who exudes God’s transforming love in your life? This was a question posed by Buddy Lee in our class one Sunday morning . . . a simple question that generated a lot of thoughtful answers. I did not speak up that day but I mulled the question over for the next few weeks. Earlier on the morning Buddy asked that question, I was so angry with God I could feel my blood pressure raise as soon as we pulled into the church parking lot. We have a daughter with an infectious laugh, a caring nature, and a host of unpleasant neurodevelopmental diagnoses that leave her future very uncertain. Where was God’s love? How could he create this beautiful child and then crisscross all the wires in her brain to make even the simplest daily task overwhelming?
But as I looked around the church, I could easily name many people who exude God’s love. As I went through the week, I could identify even more people in our community of educators, therapists, specialists, and friends who exude God’s love in the work they do every day.
Our daughter’s journey has led us down paths we never would have envisioned. Ironically, it has also led us to some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Katie attends Summit Academy in Middletown, an independent school for kids with learning differences. These are some of the most inspirational kids and teachers you could ever hope to meet. This is also a small school that relies heavily on its volunteers and (not unlike Highland) once you show a willingness to serve, the rest is history.
My husband, Todd, started as a volunteer to help out with the run club. He is a runner so he figured he could give back to the school in this way. Then he joined the board. Then he came up with the idea to run the Pikes Peak Ascent to raise money and awareness for the school. Pikes Peak is a little hill in Colorado that ascends to about 14,000 feet where rumor has it there is not much oxygen to spare for things like trees or crazy runners. Where can one find enough inspiration to run that far without a normal level of oxygen? Perhaps from the children Todd is hoping to help. If you watch these kids as they train and run, it is more than putting one foot in front of their other. They are pushing their limits and finding their potential. There is a 10-year- old on the team who uses a walker just to walk. But there he is, training and running and sometimes falling down. His teammates simply stop and help him up and they all continue on. That is God’s love in its simplest form.
Todd asked me to join him in running this race, but I am simply not as insane as he is and will stick to sea level races. But I am very proud of him and his willingness to share our story and our struggles. It has helped us to let go of the anger and begin to move forward. I am proud of this school for having the vision and the love to reach out to kids who need help in order to reach their potential.
It is so unfair that these kids have such high mountains to climb at such a young age. But I am inspired by their courage and the love shown to them by their teachers and community of people who believe we can help them overcome their obstacles. If we open our eyes to God’s transforming love, we are called to act. Do we have the courage to run up the mountain? Please join us in following Todd’s journey on http://toddsrunforsummitacademy.blogspot.com