Friday, February 3, 2012

Angels Among Us...or The Unsung Heroes

They should have shelves,
no, monumental showcases 
burgeoning with trophies and medals
in honor of their services and heroism.
Instead, they are quite obscure,
sorting through heads of cauliflower
or bunches of bananas at the super-market.
They hunch beneath umbrellas,
disappearing through ordinary doorways
to invisible mission-fields.
Who are they?
They are the care-givers
of beautiful special-needs souls
placed into life with afflictions devoid of explanation,
simply need;
the basic, never-ending needs requiring faithful hands
to bathe, feed, teach,
lift, hug, pamper
and clean countless messes.
They are the voices talking,
soothing, praising, singing,
weeping and praying.

They remain,
driven by a law beyond human reasoning
and strengthened by a force beyond human understanding;
No glory or applause waits for them
at the end of their day,
simply weariness and the promise
that as long as life continues so will need.
And thus they quietly continue,
never seeking adulation
but diligently seeking
hope, patience, strength;
planting joy in gardens
witnessed by God alone.

Beneath their touch broken flowers bloom.
Faithfulness will be their legacy.
Heartache hones their beauty,
astonishing in its rare form
of work-worn hands and tear-tender eyes.

There will never be a hall of fame
for those who teach an autistic child to say mama.
There are no grand-stands
filled with cheering fans
as strong arms steady weak, trembling bodies
endeavoring to take a first step.
There are no banners waving in celebration
because Peter finished a whole serving of applesauce
or Mary learned to read her printed name.
But there are crowns of glory held in waiting,
in the richness of their reward.

Someday God will reach down,
lift these angels from earth
and restore them to Heaven.
‘Well done’, He will declare,
‘you have completed your mission.
You have taught my precious servant-child
to trust fully in me.
Because of you they will receive many rewards
and will hear these blessed words,
‘well done my good and faithful servant.
Enter into the rest prepared for you’

Yes, there truly are angels among us,
teaching God’s children how to love
and leading them ever closer to Him.

Dedicated to all the angels with Down’s syndrome, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Cerebral Palsy and many other afflictions to countless to number, and of course, to their beautiful, angels-in-waiting caregivers.

Janet Martin

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