Ginny weaved through the colorful art displays in her school's gymnasium. All around her, paintings, sketches, and drawings covered tall display boards, but Ginny wasn't looking at the beautiful artwork when she crashed right into her mom.
"Oh!" Mom said, surprised. "Is everything okay, Ginny?"
"Well, something sort of awkward just happened," Ginny answered. "Janiya brought her friend Alaina to the art fair and introduced her to me. Alaina is deaf, so she can't hear if I try to talk with her. She speaks using sign language, but I don't know any sign language, so I couldn't talk to her. I felt super awkward and didn't know what to do, so I said I had to get going."
"I see," Mom said. "Sometimes it's hard to know what to say when you're around someone who's different from you, but often people who are deaf appreciate it when we try to communicate with them. Even if our hand gestures aren't the sign language they're used to seeing, it still shows them we want to be their friend. Did you know that Jesus used His hands to communicate with a deaf person?"
"Really? When?" Ginny asked.
"Some people brought a man to Jesus who couldn't hear and could barely talk. Jesus wanted to show the deaf man He was going to heal him, but He couldn't verbally speak with him, so Jesus put His fingers into the man's ears and touched the man's tongue. Why do you think Jesus did that?"
"Hmm . . . He was probably trying to tell the man He was about to heal his ears and tongue," Ginny answered.
"I think so too," Mom agreed. "Jesus couldn't speak with him, so he communicated with His hands. How can you communicate to Alaina without words?"
"I can smile," Ginny answered. "And since we're at an art fair, I can point to pictures I think are beautiful."
"That's a great start," Mom said. "A smile is a sign you want to be friends in any language. I know it might feel a little different to use your hands to communicate, but Alaina will appreciate knowing you want to be her friend."
"Thanks, Mom," Ginny said. "I'm going to go find Alaina."
Rachel VrugginkHOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you know someone who has a disability—maybe they’re deaf, blind, or have trouble talking? Are you willing to be their friend? It might mean you have to communicate with them in a way that’s not familiar to you, but you’ll be showing them kindness in your willingness to communicate differently in order to be friendly. Show others Jesus’ love by being a friend to everyone.
TODAY'S KEY VERSE: 1 Corinthians 9:22 (KJV)
I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. (NKJV)