The Spiritual Side of Kids with Disabilities

There are so many things that I have just accepted my son will never understand.

Insurance policies, tax structures, how to fix a car, or perform surgery. But, I’m beginning to think he understands far more of the spiritual realm than many of us ever will.

For over a year now, I’ve noticed that he will often perk up at the name of Jesus. Every night we sing “Jesus Loves Me” before bed. Lots of times he’ll look straight in my eyes, give a big smile, and giggle. (We don’t get a ton of smiles from this one.) He listens more intently to an end-of-the-day prayer than anything else I say all day long.

It’s all so easy to write off as coincidence or routine because it happens fairly regularly at night. But then the other day one of his sweet caregivers read him a verse that we have written on the wall and she said he became stone still and just gazed deeply in her eyes. He’s not what I would call “still” these days. Even though the kid has some disabilities, he’s two and he’s a toddler and he wiggles. A lot.

Lately with all his pain I’ve noticed I put on worship music, I can see his whole body begin to relax. Or, he’ll start waving his hands a little bit. We’ve caught a few videos of him worshiping.

Then a few weeks ago we were driving in the car and the Chris Tomlin song, “He Loves Me” came on. Now it could be that he was giggling at his big brother belting out the verses. But I kid you not–as best as I could see in the mirror to the back seat–every time Tomlin (and big brother) sang “Jesus” the kid got this big smile and giggled. I really believe he loves hearing the name of Jesus.

There’s power in the name of Jesus.

We spend so much time trying to help him navigate the physical world. Trying to get him to eat, to walk, to talk–or at least communicate in some way–and especially to deal with his pain.

I’m convicted of the ways I need to be pouring more Scripture and worship music and Bible stories into his little mind. That is an area that all of our current therapy strategies are sorely lacking.

Here are some of my current go-to things:

  1. Seeds of Worship songs in the car.

  2. Steve Green videos on YouTube at home.

  3. Toddler’s Bible before nap or bedtime.

What other ideas do you have for me? Doesn’t matter if it’s for your typical developing kids. I would love to hear your favorite family devotionals, worship songs, and Bible lessons. The more interactive (for toddlers) and the more musical the better.

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!


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