As long as I live I will never forget the look on Serena’s face when she lifted the hanger off of a rack during a trip to the garments district. After reading the tag “One size fits all” she let out a loud “HA! That’s a lie from the garment industry!”
Serena had been fighting the battle of weight loss her entire life. She was an inpatient at an eating disorders clinic and was on a group outing when she happened across some clothing that she had hoped would be a good find. It wasn’t a fit, she would move on to the next rack.
I am noticing that this same misconception has permeated other areas of our society besides just clothing (which by the way has changed the term to “one size fits most”). Our schools, churches and public places still focus on fitting the majority, forgetting that we have many who by being able to fit in a bit more would benefit all of us in one way or another. The mistake many make is believing that only the majority matters and that leaves those in the minority from being able to truly make the mark they are intended to make.
There is a family in the Pacific Northwest who have recognized the need to have a place for their daughter to play. The local news has even covered their story in several broadcasts and news articles. They are making great strides in getting the word out on funding this project. I am excited for what this means for them, for Harper but most of all for their community.
The Princess was born with the same genetic disorder as Harper so I know what challenges this can bring. I also know what being around her means as well. I know that getting comfortable with someone who is different takes actually spending time around them. Being in the same classes, sharing the same space and interacting on a regular basis will bring familiarity and comfort so much that maybe my daughter won’t be referred to as “kids like her”, “the girl in the purple wheelchair” or “special needs” children. They will be called by their name and remembered for a laugh or an indomitable spirit.
When my daughter becomes just as important as other children at school, Sunday school or vacation bible school (instead of an afterthought), then our teachers and other students will begin to be more accepting of those with differences. The tolerance we speak of will be more than just words but actions. The act of wiping a child’s drool will be no less of a chore than helping one draw a photo or learn a new skill. Pushing their chair won’t be any more daunting than leading another child to the art center.
In Matthew 25:35-45 it tells us: “…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Who doesn’t want to be a blessing to the Saviour? You can bet that if we were gathering at church and Jesus walked in, there would be a crowd around him begging to give Him a drink, sit next to Him for potluck and make sure He was comfortable. Do we do this with others? With our homeless, our mentally ill, those that dress differently or those with disabilities? If we do this with our “least”, we are blessing our God. If we don’t He says He never knew us. If we greet only those we are comfortable with, we miss the blessing as well.
So I will agree with Serena, on this one, one size does not fit all. We need to allow for accommodations for those who would be happy to be included. Not just physical needs but emotional and spiritual needs as well. We need to look around when we are including everyone and see if we are truly mean everyone.