Isn’t She Gross?
I entered Winners in search of a pretty summer dress. In recognition of his efforts, Marc’s employer was sending us on a four-day trip to the Caribbean. I was dreaming of wearing pretty summer dresses on the beach, and swimming in the ocean. As I walked through the door, I passed two young boys, likely 5 and 7, along with their mother and grandmother.
I had just proceeded past them and to the first rack of dresses when I heard:
“Did you see that lady?
She has no hands!
Isn’t she gross?”.
It was difficult not to hear; it was very loud. I stopped in my tracks, took a deep breath, and pivoted on my prosthetic legs faster than I thought possible. (Dancing with the stars, here I come). I was ready to respond.
They Call Me to Help Fight with the Super Heroes Because I Have Bionic Parts
I raised my sunglasses from my eyes and onto the top of my head as I said, “Excuse me, is that how you speak to people who look different?”
The little boy’s mother looked appalled. She had been too absorbed in conversation to notice her son’s behavior. The perpetrator hid his face behind the automatic doors they had been exiting through.
“You said isn’t she gross?” I continued.
I walked up to the little boy, my eyes looking directly into his. “Do you know that you hurt my feelings very badly?” The impact of my words hit him. I could see it in his eyes as Igot closer and continued, “Yes, I have no hands or feet but do you know that I drive? I do everything you can do.” I pressed on, “I have two children, a little boy who is 3 years old and a little girl who is 9.” To ensure his mother heard, I spoke up when I let him know, “I’m a mom too.” The little boy was looking at me very closely. “Sometimes..”—I continued lifting my sunglasses from my eyes for dramatic effect—”You can’t tell anyone this, but sometimes, they call me to help fight with the super heroes because I have bionic parts”. Both of the boys’ mouths dropped open and their blue eyes widened.
The Spirit Enables Us to Gift that Gift of Words to Others
After their mom introduced them, Calvin and his older brother Rory walked away, I wondered what they must have thought.
There is no doubt parents find it difficult to respond in these situations. I have encountered parents who have responded to their children’s peering eyes and questions so beautifully I wanted to run across the room and hug them. I pray that one day Calvin and Rory will be able to make a difference in this world. That they will use the right words—instead of saying “Isn’t she gross – they will choose their words carefully—the next time they encounter someone who looks different.
It is only the Spirit that can lead us to speak words we did not know we had. To give us the gift of boldness to say those words. And to enable us to give that gift of words to others.