This month, we present to you two stories. First is a story from one of our volunteers at Colorado Vincentian Volunteers.  Her name is Mary Adam, and she works at a center for children and adults who have disabilities.  Mary is reflecting on a pearl that she has received from encountering those who are poor this year.  The second is Maggie Loughran’s digital story. It is very reflective of her entire experience of living in community, companioning children in an inclusion school, reflecting on her experience in light of social justice and the Gospel, and integrating it all into her faith.

Be Still

By Mary Adam, who works at Laradon

Be still and know that I am God.

It was the first nice day we had in a while and I think the playground was due for a good use from the students. I was hanging with Jack from class 5 and sitting on the edge of the playground watching him swing, waiting for the next time he slows down and asks me for more pushes. There in front of me was a student from class 4 pretending to be in some sort of duel with his staff who was happily entertaining his imagination. There was a kid being swung around on the tire swing by his classmate. others were running around just to run while the jungle gym in the middle was full of kids going up and down the slides. Looking around at these students I found myself holding back tears as I realized that they have so much freedom here at Laradon. These students don’t have to worry about being anyone but themselves in this safe haven that is their school.

Because my role here is to fill in the gaps, there are times in my day where I am not necessarily doing anything in particular. this has made me slow down and learn that it is okay to just be. To sit in a classroom or in the art room and be present with the students, goof off with them or hang out. To wait for the next class to come through to be served lunch. This population allows the world to see that the worth of a human goes way deeper than the simple product of their work. Sitting watching those kids on the playground I saw God through their play and was overwhelmed by what I was learning in that moment.

Productivity is often mistakenly equated to success or worth. what about a 16-year-old, non-verbal girl who is wheelchair bound? or a 15-year-old boy who is deaf and can’t focus long enough to do a simple math problem? what does it mean for them? what are they worth to this society if they aren’t contributing to it as they are expected to?

Laradon is a place of education for these students where they can learn life skills, math and social studies, it is also a place where they can freely BE themselves and be praised for it. These students have taught me to just be. There is joy found in the ability to be who we are meant to be.

Be still and know that I am God.

 

CVV Digital Story 2016-2017 – Maggie


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