Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Painting, The Purpose

This painting by Del Parsons hangs in the OSSO orphanage. Copies hang in several other rooms, and it is a continual, visual reminder of the value of life.

Over and again, the question has come up, What is the purpose of a child's life who is handicapped and incapable of communication, movement, and mental cognition?

As I watch a student run into the main house to get a Spanish/English dictionary and as he explains to me that he is reading to Diana, and she continually asks him in Spanish, "What is this?" he wants to answer her questions. He is moved beyond himself to learn in order to help.

I pass another student who is pushing a child in his wheelchair. It is not clear whether or not the child understands language, but the student is telling him a story about his own grandfather and how he used to give him chocolate.

From these examples, I see one purpose of the special-needs children's lives.

And then there are the stories... a little girl named Sessy who is only capable of laying in her bed and making simple sounds.  She came to OSSO because she was special needs and when OSSO takes in a child, they search to find out if the child has siblings. The search for Sessy turned up three siblings--who were also abandoned, and the orphanage then petitioned to have the three join her. A short while later, the three children were adopted by a family in Sweden. Kiersten, the director, knows that Sessy's purpose was to bring her three siblings together.

The painting has special meaning to all of us now, but especially to Mrs. C~~two of her children are in the painting--and we will all remember, we were here~~trying to serve, trying to fulfill our own purpose.