I would like to introduce you to my grandson, Dylan. He is also one of my best friends. He calls me Papa. He is a model of acceptance for me, because he never rejects me, is always happy to see me, and lets me know this with a greeting and a big hug. He is impressive. He embodies the meaning of the Apostle Peter, where he says, “Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” 1 Peter 4:11 [MSG].
Love is essential to relationships, in order for them to endure. People tend to shun relationships that have no payback. Acceptance is also important to all of us. We fold to peer pressure because we are looking for acceptance. But Dylan is pure in his love and acceptance. He doesn’t put any conditions on it; like the love and acceptance we get from Jesus – unconditional! It’s too bad that some others are not as loving and accepting of him. They are missing out on a terrific relationship.
As you can tell from his picture, Dylan has Down’s Syndrome; thus he has not been blessed with an ideal life. He has faced challenges from birth. Despite this, he has great compassion for others. Some time ago, I had some minor surgery on my leg. Dylan saw the bandage near my knee and demanded to see beneath it. “Poor Papa,” he exclaimed, asking if it hurt. He insisted on monitoring the progress of the “scar” every time we were together, until you could hardly notice it any more. This is a level of caring that you do not see in others that often.
I Corinthians, chapter 13 describes love in certain ways, some of which are particularly characteristic of Dylan.
- Cares more for others than for self.
- Trusts God always,
- Never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
Dylan has learned to operate in this world in a way that illustrates clearly to all who know him, that the nature of Christ is transcendent to all of us, if we dare to embrace it. Love and acceptance needs to be cherished and celebrated, because it is rather rare. I am very fortunate to receive these gifts from Dylan.