October is Down syndrome Awareness Month. An entire month to celebrate those who were gifted with an extra gene. Which is kinda cool, if you think about it…like a national birthday party for your DNA. It’s hard to get better than that!
I frequently describe Down syndrome as an ‘extra chromosome of love’. It is the most perfect explanation I have for how God lovingly knit my boy and his chromosome buddies together. I imagine Our Heavenly Father sat down with the angles and said:
“Now, I’m going to create a TRUE masterpiece. I will mold these special humans together perfectly with an extra chromosome of My love. The world will say these wonderful children are broken & disabled, but they will reflect My image purely. They will move a little slower, taking time to enjoy My creation and the people I have placed in it. They will live & move & BE in My presence effortlessly. Despite physical difficulties like hearing loss and speech delays, they will hear My voice easily and learn to speak gently and with grace. Their understanding of Me will not be limited by man’s theology or legalism, it will be doubtless as it should be. Man will labele them simple, but they will love deeply and unconditionally….like Me. When the world says my splendid creation shouldn’t be born, I will declare My perfect peace, My complete joy, My total love over them again, and again, and again”.
Now THAT is something to be aware of! My child isn’t perfect, he is still human and a toddler at that, which makes him a tad bipolar. But when I glimpse of how the Lord works through my little boy’s extra genes, I am acutely aware of the damage of sin genetically inborn in me. Man’s pride has created a world that celebrates physical and intellectual “perfection”, absolutely setting aside God’s defining perfection — love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness. If you add serious dance moves to that list, you have a near perfect description of those with Down syndrome!
So happy Down syndrome Awareness Month. I hope you get to love on those around you rocking an extra chromosome. (I REALLY hope they get to love on you too! My boy gives the best hugs!!) Take a moment to see the Lord’s heart at work. Ask yourself how you can be more like the One who perfectly created us all. And then ask the Lord how you can help bless those with an extra chromosome of love and their families. I betchya they’d LOVE to welcome you in!
Here are a few organizations and ministries you can consider supporting:
National Down Syndrome Society
Bethany Christian Services’s Bamboo Project
National Down Syndrome Adoption Network
Down Syndrome Community