Day 80: (Dis)ability

Happy Sunday and Day 80 of Another 100 Days of Hannah, y’all!
Today’s (later) post brought to you by a solid headache.
And sunshine.
Yep, I have no idea what to blog about today.
Good start, Hannah, good start.
Apparently, today is World Down Syndrome Day.  (Thanks, IG for that information!)
When I think about individuals with Down Syndrome, I am instantly taken back to my time as a resident at UHCO.
While there, I had the privilege of working in several clinics that catered to the needs of patients with special needs of varying degrees and etiologies – pediatrics, SNAPS (Special Needs, Adults and Peds), and NOVA (Non-invasive ocular and vision assessment… maybe?).
I won’t lie, some days were a massive challenge.
I mean, have you ever tried to do an eye exam on a patient who won’t stop moving, is tactilely defensive, and hates all lights?
I promise it’s not easy.
But I was astounded, almost on a daily basis, by the incredible abilities of those who are so frequently labeled as ‘disabled’.
One young patient, though mostly non-verbal, had near perfect pitch, and HARMONIZED WITH ME while I sang to him.
Another, though, again, non-verbal and with significant physical handicaps, had written NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED POETRY through her communication board.
Similar stories were the norm in my days at the in-patient brain injury hospital.
One, who had sustained significant brain injuries and, on the outside appeared minimally functional, was able to (with the help of a speech therapist) answer yes/no questions regarding his visual status, allowing our team to fully assess his visual system and provide optical recommendations to address his concerns.
Another, went from being completely non-responsive to all of our testing after sustaining significant brain injuries from a multiple story fall to BEING ABLE TO WALK AND TALK – and complete all of my visual testing with ease.
It’s easy – so easy – to judge others by what they can’t do.
It’s so easy to look at someone and see disabilities.
But when we do, we miss out on all the beautiful, God-given abilities of these wonderful individuals.
This thought reminds me of the verse in 1 Samuel 16:7:
Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
As humans, it’s really easy to look at the outward appearance.
I’m guilty of it – no doubt.

But, God?
He looks at the heart.

He sees us – all of us – for all that we are, all that we have been, all that we may be, and loves us – unconditionally.
May we strive to do the same.
‘Til tomorrow,
Want to read more?  Here’s a link to my Day 80 post from 100 Days of Hannah.  Click the link to check it out! 
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