If there is one word to describe Caroline, it is JOY. Every Sunday, she has a big grin on her face. She is always ready with a hug or high-five. Caroline has a way of making people feel extra-special. She shows love indiscriminately, greeting strangers and friends alike with enthusiasm and delight. This is the kind of love Jesus talks about.

Sometimes Caroline draws some extra attention. She doesn’t have the same control of her body as most children her age. She may shout or laugh during quiet times, and she doesn’t always like to sit still during Sunday School. But the most striking thing about Caroline is that she is always joyful – so much so that she can’t contain it. She just has to raise her arms, laugh and shout. Hearing her voice in church is a wonderful reminder of Psalm 126:2a: “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy.” I pray that her joy-filled spirit would inspire us all as we join her in worshipping and praising our Lord together!

Caroline is a very special part of our church family. She reminds us to greet one another with love and to find joy in every moment. “She can tell when people are staring at her,” her mom Donna explained. “We all want to be accepted. We want to feel like we matter and that we contribute something.” Caroline is no exception. She lights up when people talk to her. When we see her at church, we should never hesitate to acknowledge her – even when we aren’t sure how to act or what to say. Caroline will brighten anyone’s day, as we will brighten hers!

Donna shared this poem with St. Michael’s, which now hangs in Caroline’s Sunday School classroom. It is a beautiful reminder to always give thanks to God and share His love with everyone!


(Author Unknown)

I am the child who cannot talk.
You often pity me. I see it in your eyes.
You wonder how much I am aware of – I see that as well.
You cannot conceive my isolation, so complete it is at times.
I am aware of much, whether you are happy or sad or fearful,
patient or impatient, full of love and desire,
or if you are just doing your duty by me.
I marvel at your frustration, knowing mine to be far greater,
for I cannot express myself or my needs as you do.
I do not give you rewards as defined by the world’s standards – great strides in development that you can credit yourself;
I do not give you understanding as you know it.
What I give you is so much more valuable – I give you instead opportunities.
Opportunities to discover the depth of your character, not mine;
The depth of your love, your commitment, your patience, your abilities;
I drive you further than you would ever go on your own, working harder,
seeking answers to your many questions with no answers.
I am the child who cannot talk.
I am the child who cannot walk.
The world seems to pass me by.
You see the longing in my eyes to get out of this chair, to run and play like other children.
There is much you take for granted.
I want the toys on the shelf, I need to go to the bathroom, oh I’ve dropped my fork again.
I am dependent on you in these ways.
My gift to you is to make you more aware of your great fortune,
Your healthy back and legs, your ability to do for yourself.
Sometimes people appear not to notice me; I always notice them.
I feel not so much envy as desire, desire to stand upright,
to put one foot in front of the other, to be independent.
I give you awareness. I am the child who cannot walk.
I am the child who is mentally impaired.
I don’t learn easily, if you judge me by the world’s measuring stick.
What I do know is infinite joy in simple things.
I am not burdened as you are with the strifes and conflicts of a more complicated life.
My gift to you is to grant you the freedom to enjoy things as a child,
To teach you how much your arms around me mean, to give you love,
I give you the gift of simplicity.
I am the child who is mentally impaired.


Written by Becky Gleason, Children’s Minister.