Different for God’s Glory – Down Syndrome and the book A Good and Perfect Gift

It’s no surprise that I have come to view things through cross-cultural and eternal lenses. This includes a memoir I read recounting the birth of a Down’s Syndrome child and the subsequent journey.

Amy Julie Becker’s A Good and Perfect Gift is a love story, a romance in it’s purest form, of how God beautifully enriches the vision and understanding of life through the unexpected arrival of different via a gift named Penny.

For many cross-cultural workers like myself, different is a way of life. We’re different. People around us are different. Languages, thought patterns, abilities, behaviors– all different.

We’re looked at with curiosity, maybe treated with impatience, glanced at with whispers. We unconsciously do the same in return. Opinions based on ignorance mutually volley back and forth.

Yet in the midst of it all, God breaks through with truth as we allow Him, beautifully enriching our vision and understanding of His will toward everyone on earth.

Amy Julia writes:

“I received an e-mail from a friend that said, “I can’t wait to see the ministry that Penny will have.” It hadn’t crossed my mind that Penny would have a ministry, a means of giving to other people. That simple sentence, with it’s hopeful words, made me realize that as much as I insisted that our experience was different…and that our child was different…different didn’t mean less than. Penny would give to us. She would not only be blessed. She would be a blessing.”

As I read the book, this truth caught me: Penny’s ministry began the moment she was born. Her arrival began to stir the world around her, opening a spiritual journey for some while taking others deeper on an exfoliative path with the Creator God.

Isn’t that what each one of us is called to do, regardless of our location, intellect, academia, culture, language, or chromosome count?

Isn’t that also the type of growth each is expected to undergo, regardless of our position, calling, abilities, or maturity?

To not only be blessed, but be a blessing.

I believe it is all for one, highest reason: for Christ to be exalted and God to be glorified.

Amy Julia says,

“As much as I wanted answers, I received this truth: Penny is neither a rebuke nor a reward. She is a child, not a product of sin nor of biological happenstance or of any lesson we needed to learn. No. This happened that the glory of God might be revealed.”

A Good and Perfect Gift is a subjective experience with glimpses of God’s glory through the birth and early life of Penny and in the edifying of a family.

Yet the objective truth, whether you’re the parent of a child with Down Syndrome, a missionary, or any other type of different in between, is that God wants to reveal Himself to all, redeeming us through Christ for eternity where His glory will completely be revealed and every difference become perfection.

____________________________________

Though I received a copy of this book from the author, a fellow Redbud Writers Guild member, my high recommendation of this book is not solely based on that. (Though I have no problem promoting and supporting fellow members!)

I highly recommend this book because it is one of the best I’ve read. 

Amy Julia is an excellent writer. Her vulnerability is honest, her journey candid. She opens her world for all to see and learn. Which I did.

She, Penny, and their family were interviewed and highlighted for a recent Time Magazine article. She also blogs at Thin Places.

3 thoughts on “Different for God’s Glory – Down Syndrome and the book A Good and Perfect Gift

  1. As I read the book, this truth caught me: Penny’s ministry began the moment she was born. Her arrival began to stir the world around her, opening a spiritual journey for some while taking others deeper on an exfoliative path with the Creator God.
    What strong words. Wow I never thought of ministry as that but it is.

    1. In the book it shows how God worked in and through the life of especially the author, teaching her things she hadn’t learned even in Princeton Seminary. I wouldn’t claim that necessarily true of all kids born with Down’s Syndrome, though it is quite possible, but as her life touched others provoking them to search Scripture and pray, that is certainly an effective “ministry”. Have you had a chance yet to read the book? If not, I know you’ll enjoy it.

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