I watched with great interest the movie "Wonder" over this past weekend. Actually, we went at the suggestion of my 12-year-old grandson, Jalen, who said, "Oh! We're reading that book in school, Mom-mom - let's go see the movie'!" I asked, "Well, what's it about?" "It's about a boy with a facial deformity." "Oh really? Well, okay, let's go!"
First of all, let me say that I totally recommend this movie - and not just for children! There are so many good things about it. It tells a powerful lesson on love, grace, persistence, determination, tolerance, and transformation. The story begins with a young boy who refuses to leave the house without wearing a space helmet. It concludes with a young boy who can confidently face life without the helmet, and in addition to that, there is the amazing growth and transformation of the young people surrounding him.
Many of you know that my daughter, Allison, was born with a cleft lip and palate. Certainly nothing as severe as the character in this story, Auggie. But having been through the too-many-to-count surgeries beginning at the age of 3 months and still ongoing as recently as this past summer, I can attest to the fact that ANY deformity or ANY disability/difference, is a tough thing for a person to live with and to overcome.
If you've ever met or seen pictures of Allison, you might not immediately notice the scar from the cleft. Thanks to the excellent plastic surgery available these days (and a little make-up lol), she mostly has overcome the deformity. However, I recently looked back at all the photos I have of her, and I said, "every one of these pictures is from the right angle - that's strange!" To which she replied, "I do that on purpose." "Oh really?" Gee, I had no idea she was still sensitive about it. And, of course, hers is a relatively minor 'difference'.
Wouldn't it be a great project for ALL of us during the Advent season to make an effort, at least once, to go out of our way to spend a little time or to give a little extra attention to someone we might know (or we might run into) who deals with a significant difference or disability? Wouldn't that be a great way to share the joy of the season?