World Down Syndrome Day

Today is World Down Syndrome Day, a day to celebrate acceptance, inclusion, and the value of those around us with Down Syndrome. Through my ministry and calling I have been so blessed and privileged to get to be around so many individuals and families with Down Sydrome. As a result, I see how amazingly gifted these individuals truly are and how we are the blessed ones just to be around them. The individuals I am privileged to be around are some of the most loving and expressive people I know. They do not hide behind plastic faces or guard their hearts and innermost feelings.

They express themselves so openly and expressively. They are not afraid to show their true honest feelings. They make no distinctions between people like the rest of us tend to do.

Love is something to be displayed, celebrated, and demonstrated. They accept everyone on an equal footing, and make no exceptions for grace just because someone is different.

Individuals with Down Syndrome have taught me to find joy in all my circumstances. They have taught me to be content with a few things, to find happiness in the little things, and to celebrate even the small things.

I have learned from those I know with Down Syndrome how to find the beauty in everything. To not be in such a rush that I miss out the simplest blessings of God’s creation, but to stop and notice the beauty of the world around me.

Want to understand the essence of God’s unconditional love? Hang around someone with Downs. Want to learn to love as God intended? Hang around someone with Downs. Want to have your socks blessed off? Hang around someone with Downs.

I love what a friend of mine Steve says about his two chosen daughters with DownSyndrome, “My girls with down syndrome may be mentally disabled, but their hearts are not. They are so unpretentious and love others genuinely and unconditionally."

We all should be asking God every day to give us a heart like His. Children with down syndrome don’t have to ask for it. He has already given them a heart like His.

For all of you who are early in this walk with a newborn with downs or expecting a child with downs, here’s a truth for you. Every time a doctor or other person uses the word “burden”,” substitute the word “blessing.”Just ask a parent of an adult with down syndrome. They will tell you.

Individuals with down syndrome have an extra copy of Chromosome 21. Maybe it’s really that the rest of us are missing a copy! For all the gifts and the gift-keepers, honor and respect to you today on World Down Syndrome Day!