Kyra's Encouragement

  • July 27, 2011
  • #7628

Joni shares how 4-year-old Kyra demonstrates the love of Jesus to everyone she meets, regardless of their ability.

When it comes to disability awareness, it’s always good to start young.

Hi, I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends" where I love to tell great stories of people I admire. And today I'm admiring a little 4 ½ year old girl named Kyra – she’s the granddaughter of my secretary, Francie, who relayed this story after she was at a baby shower with Kyra.

It was a typical shower; people were sitting and standing around the room, and when it was time to play a mixer, the hostess mentioned that the ladies could either stand or sit for the game; she then asked Kyra to help pass out colored construction paper to everyone. Anyway, Kyra is obediently distributing the colored paper to everyone, when she comes upon an older woman in a wheelchair. This little four-year-old paused a moment and then gave the woman the construction paper with these words: "It’s okay; you can play this game sitting down." 

I tell you, when Francie shared that with me, I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. What a sweet thing for a child to say to a woman in a wheelchair -- doing her best to make her feel comfortable and a part of things; helping her not feel left out or different. And she’s just a little girl! Well, when I asked Francie more questions, I learned that Kyra’s mother has been talking to her a lot about people with disabilities. Apparently, there’s a little girl in Kyra’s dance class who has some kind of disability; and whenever there’s a wheelchair, Kyra’s mother makes a point to explain what it’s all about. Then her other grandmother uses a cane; and apparently there’s a lady in a shoe store who has some physical needs – Kyra’s always told that if she has a question, it’s okay, but she must not point and always ask quietly. So the deal is, wherever they encounter someone with a disability, it becomes a teaching moment. And the main point? It’s how Jesus made everyone special and different; and always for good reasons. 

So today I'm tipping my hat to little Kyra. Out of the mouths of babes, right?! And when it comes to her mother, to me, she’s such a great example of Proverbs 16:21 where it says, “The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.” Pleasant words also dispel fears, chase away ignorance, and go a long way to build healthy, happy attitudes toward people like that elderly woman at the baby shower in her wheelchair. 

Perhaps you would like to help a child gain a good attitude toward people with disabilities. Well, friend there are lots of teaching moments out there, and one of them is to use my little book “God's Word on Disability” – it’s got photos and helpful hints and stories; something you’d really enjoy reading to your child or grandchild. Again, it’s called “God's Word on Disability” and it’s yours for the asking at joniandfriends.org. And by the way in case you didn’t know it’s  really important when you stop by you mention the call letters of this radio station, would you? That would really help us. And while you are on my radio page, share a story would you of the children in your life who you know are reaching out to people with disabilities. There’s no age limit on being wise in heart, and even a child like Kyra can be discerning. And frankly, we always hear so many negative things about attitudes and actions around the disabled; I’d like to hear some uplifting stories. So tell me all about it on my radio page at joniandfriends.org. And while you’re there, pick up a copy of “God's Word on Disability” for all the children or grandchildren, for all the little Kyras in your life. And once again let me remind you of our website. Come by and visit us at anytime – its joniandfriends.org. God’s blessings on you until next time when we get together for “Joni and Friends”.

© Joni and Friends

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