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April 16, 2005

Unto the Least of These

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.

Jessica is the daughter of our friends. Every day, the school bus comes for Jessica, who happens to be the last child on the route. On this particular bus, the kids have assigned seating, and Jessica sits next to the same young boy--day after day. And, day after day, this young, frightened boy cried the whole trip. He was crying when the bus came to Jessica's house, and he cried the rest of the way to school.

One day, Jessica decided to help the boy. She reached out her small hand, and gently laid it on his arm. The boy stopped crying. The mere touch of another, gentle soul was enough to comfort him. The next day came, the boy was crying. Jessica sat down, reached out, touched his arm, and he stopped crying. This pattern repeated the next few days. She did not have to say anything, her touch was all he needed.

And then, a few days later, something interesting happened. On this day, the boy stopped crying a few blocks before the bus reached Jessica's house. He knew she would be getting on the bus soon and that was enough to comfort him. She still put her hand gently on his arm, of course. This pattern repeats to this day. The boy stops crying a few blocks before Jessica's house.

I suppose he can sense where the bus is because of the curves in the road near her house. You see, the boy is blind. He can neither see Jessica, nor her house. He just senses when the bus is almost there.

Jessica's actions on the bus do not surprise her parents. She has four siblings at home, including a newborn sister. Whenever one of her sisters, or her brother, is hurt, Jessica is there to comfort the child. Offering her gentle shoulder and heart for another's comfort. That's who Jessica is--comforter of the hurting. She is also one of the happiest children I have ever seen. There's always a smile on her face.

Jessica turned five this past February. That, in itself, is a miracle. Jessica was born with hydrocephalus. While in her mother, the fluid built up in her tiny brain and damaged it. Jessica also has Down Syndrome. There are many things that Jessica will not be able to do in her life. To some, Jessica should never have been born. Some, having received the news of her condition, as her parents did, by amniocentesis, would have chosen to end the pregnancy, and her life. The reason, I suppose, is that she won't have much quality of life. She'll never be a productive member of society. She may not be able to take care of herself. Not much of a life in our modern society.

However, I know one little boy on a bus who knows that Jessica is nothing short of a gift from God.

Posted by Mark at April 16, 2005 11:38 PM


Outstanding reminder, Mark. Please tell Jessica and her parents that just knowing about her has blessed me! She truly is a precious gift from God!

Posted by: Mark at April 18, 2005 12:23 PM

Jessica is the hands of Jesus to that boy and that story was a wonderful start to the liturgy of the Christian Carnival this week.

Blessings to her and her friend.

Posted by: Micah Girl at April 20, 2005 10:45 AM

Tearing up just reading this post. Thanks for another reminder that life is precious, a gift from God---irrespective of its "quality" in the eyes of others...

Posted by: Byron at April 20, 2005 03:54 PM

This is incredible. Without even reading the Carnival entries today, I posted about my own disability. There is also a mention of today being a day within National Volunteer Week quoting the scripture about "the least of these." I have a child who is disabled as well. Must be one of those 'God thangs.' This post reminds me of her and the mercy she has always shown to others even if others didn't show it to her. Thanks for a great time.

Posted by: Paula at April 20, 2005 05:16 PM

This is a heartwarming story told with great care and love. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Posted by: Wayne M at April 21, 2005 03:17 PM

Hi Mark,
I've tried tracking back twice but can't get through to your server.
So here's the link:
Scene and Herd: Spit,Salvation,Nazis and Popes

Posted by: Catez at April 21, 2005 03:30 PM

What an excellent post Mark,
I have linked to it (also) on my blogsite.
In the hustle and bustle of these days, these are the kinds of stories that we need to keep us in touch with reality.
Bruce Harpel

Posted by: Bruce Harpel at April 21, 2005 04:27 PM

This is a wonderful post to remind us that God has a purpose for everyone He has created. It is man who creates the true limitations.

Thank you for sharing this story.

Posted by: Sal at April 23, 2005 02:50 PM

What a great story!
Makes me think about what is truly of value (not what the world think is productive). God bless Jessica and her family :)

Posted by: anneberit at April 25, 2005 06:25 AM

Wonderful. I took the liberty of reposting it over at A Simple Desultory Dangling Conversation.

As it it sure to "make the rounds" why not contact the folks over at to authenticate it? Can't hurt to be proactive, even if they do wind up categorizing it with the other feel-good stories they call "glurge".

Posted by: corrie at April 25, 2005 11:43 AM