A mentally handicapped church singer
I just got the amazing mail below. (Inspired by this week's newsletter at Domai.)
I was hesitant at first in posting it, because some might think the story is about how we should not discrimiate against the handicapped, which is true but it is not the point here. It is about seeing the bigger picture, and being open to beauty and communication which does not fit the surface picture of "nice". - Eolake
"A minister I talked to was serving at a nondenominational church in a small town. Among the attendees at the church was a young man who would be considered severely mentally retarded. His speech was affected and he was basically unintelligible to most people, yet the minister became familiar enough with him to be able to communicate reasonably well. One day the young man asked to lead the congregation in a song. This amazed the minister and he promised to give consideration to it. Eventually, he decided to let the young man have his wish.
"After the service, the minister was very upset to discover the venom that poured forth from several members. They were outraged that he would allow this to take place. How dare he allow this freak to desecrate the service by such a hideous display?
"The minister was telling me about the incident. He had not figured out how to respond to the critics, although in his heart he truly thought that he had done the right thing to allow this young man to sing. I ponted out to the man that in the religious literature I am familiar with, there exists a commandment ""to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.". I never found a commandement that said to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord, but only if it is pleasing to your fellows." The young man had asked to sing and the minister had felt right in granting his request. He was NOT obligated to run the request by a commitee. The young man's request had come from his heart and it only had to please his Lord. The pastor was beaming when he left me, because he had a topic for a new message to his congregation that he felt could strike at the core of the problem and give all of them pause to consider what constitutes Beauty."