What is a Human?

There is an amazing Facebook page and Youtube channel called, "Special Books for Special Kids." The channel focuses on children with special needs. Each person is interviewed by Chris. Chris is a former teacher who wants to "use [his] platform to promote kindness and empathy." He interviews kids with Down syndrome, dissociative personality disorders, blindness, disfigurements, and more. It's a beautiful channel that I encourage you to check out. I'm leaving a video in this post to link over there.

The one question Chris asks every time is, "What do you want people to know about you." And almost without exception the person being interviewed says something along the lines of, "I'm just a regular person," or, "I'm normal." Most of these special needs people have to remind us that they are people. Raising Levi (Our son with Down Syndrome), Allie and I have some sense of this. People will often act very awkward around him, sometimes avoid him, and in some cases tell their children to play in different areas of the playground because of him.

Then, Frank Stephens, a man with Down Syndrome, recently testified before Congress saying, "I am a man with Down Syndrome and my life is worth living."  What is a man? What is a woman? What is human? Being normal, many of us take those categories for granted, and sometimes we miss what human is all together. We often find the most human among us in the least likely circumstances.

Special Books for Special Kids, Frank Stephens, and many other advocacy groups push us to understand what it truly means to be human. "Human" can't be boiled down to certain facial features, skin color, a certain number of limbs, a way of walking, or even mental capacity. Humanity and personness are rooted somewhere else. Tomorrow we look to the scriptures to find out what makes someone a human, why we should care for them, and then we'll pray for those who are most vulnerable.

In Christ,
Ivey Rhodes
Lead Pastor Mosaic Boston Jamaica Plain