Friday, November 21, 2008

A Holy Moment

I had to buy a card for my Dad's birthday. And besides I love these stores. In the UK, I find, there is a deliciously dirty sense of humour. You can pick up cards that would be considered outrageous in North America ... and as I have that sense of humour, hours can pass as I howl doubled over in my wheelchair. I had just finished with a very funny fart card and had tucked a nun with syphillis card (who doesn't need one of those) in my bag and was pushing my way down the aisle.

I waited as a young woman, who's face was obscured to my by the cut of her hair and the tilt of her head, was looking at the boxes of Christmas cards. She was with another woman who I immediately identified as a care provider. So, I waited. The care provider suddenly noticed me, grabbed hold of the arm of the woman she was with and yanked ... yanked ... her out of my way. The woman, startled looked up and I saw she had Down Syndrome. She looked over at me and saw that she had been standing in my path. Not a word had been said between the two women. All there had been was the ... yank.

'Sorry,' she said to me and began to walk away.

'Wait,' I said, and she stopped.

'It's not ok for people to grab and yank you that way,' I said. The other woman burst into words and I put my finger up. Just one finger, to indicate that I was not talking to her.

'But I was in your way,' she said.

'Well, I can wait for a moment or I can ask you to step aside, it's between me and you.'

I could see the other woman desperate to talk. I didn't engage her, wasn't interested in a conversation with her.

'Why don't you go back to looking at cards, I don't mind waiting,' I said.

She went back to the cards and picked up a box. She held it up to me and asked what I thought. It wasn't my kind of card, it had a rustic kind of drawing of the manger and a sappy sentiment. But I asked her what she thought.

She looked at the card carefully, scanning the picture much more thoroughly than I did. 'I don't think I like it,' she said.

I was intrigued so I asked her why.

'The baby Jesus is always sleeping in these pictures, he's never crying.'

'You think he'd be crying.'

'Of course,' she said, 'he knew what was coming.'



yanub said...

Oh, that's great! That young woman has a keen mind. Her view of the manger scenario makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

Another name for Yank, used at schools here in Ontario is "redirect". I hate that word!

mom to Adam (6)

Anonymous said...

Wow, what she said sent a chill up my back - so profound and really made me think. Just brilliant. Wonder if the yanker even realized how amazing a comment it was. MDN

Anonymous said...

I got goosebumps reading this entry! Rather profound....

Mark said...

Some of the coolest conversations I get to be involved with are with people with disabilities when they discuss their experiences of faith/G-d. Thanks for sharing this. And as always, thanks for the way you pay attention.

Lisa said...

Thank you for letting that girl know it's not ok to be "yanked" like that. I hope her "caregiver" was thoroughly embarassed and thinks before she ever does something like that again.


purple_kangaroo said...

Wow, what an evocative post.

I really hope the woman with her took what you said to heart.

My friend mysterymommy Liz recommended your blog to me. I'm glad she did.

Tammy said...

Beautiful. I will never look at a manger scene withut wondering why Jesus isn't crying. She is simply brilliant.

little.birdy said...

Both you and the young woman are amazing folks. I'm glad you met each other, and that you encouraged her to stand up for herself and not let people jerk her around like furniture.

Michael said...

You never cease to amaze me, in that situations where we can all be advocates for not just human rights, but human dignity are all around us! Thanks Dave!

Anonymous said...

Another wonderful story, but I'm beginning to think that you are some kind of Down syndrome magnet...I mean, I'm out and about all the time, and I have a child with Ds, but I don't come across many individuals with Ds. You must have some kind of honing device.

annie said...

that brought a flood of tears..

how bloody amazing WAS that?

annie said...

that brought a flood of tears..

how bloody amazing WAS that?