If you haven’t seen this video posted on CG Meetup’s youtube channel, take a minute to watch it. It’s based on a true story about a boy named Ian who has cerebral palsy. It tells his story, but it also tells the story of anyone that has to work hard (very hard even) to have friends because they are different.
This video is a call to compassion, to enter another person’s world and experience their pain with them. Our church seeks to do that – it is something we are proud of. We know we don’t get it right all the time, but I am thankful for videos like this that reminds us of what Christ calls us to.
Here are three things that should not be missed from this video…
The little things we do can divide
Ian seems to be imagining what it’s like to sit at a table and share a meal with friends, but the reality is his body is a huge obstacle to that. As a result he imagines the laughs he would get, the looks of pity, the whispers, the confused looks, and all these little things suck him to the outside of the playground fence – back to his reality.
It’s really hard to not stare, whisper, comment, or even giggle at someone’s differences, but it’s those things that can be the nightmares of kids. The little things can forever leave them feeling on the outside and alone.
It’s such a hard fight to belong – even if you have others pulling for you.
There is a moment in the film when Ian fights with all. of. his. might. to be with friends. Pieces of him break off and fly back to the other side of the fence with each snicker. You see his struggle amidst his desire, his strength amidst his helplessness.
I know that some of the bravest and strongest kids are the ones that get up every day and know what battle they are going to have to face just to fit in – and they press on regardless. Sometimes they are beaten back, but they get up again and again.
Even when other kids grab Ian’s hands to keep in the playground, it is still a fight. In reality, it is a still a hard fight when you aren’t alone. The world will always be bigger and meaner than your group and nothing hits back harder than the doubt and fear that creeps in to your own mind.
It’s not about making room for others in our world, it’s about going to them in theirs
I think most of us thought that the kids who were pulling Ian back into the playground were going to be triumphant and show the power of friendship at work. But in a brilliant twist, they fail. They can’t bring Ian into their playground.
Instead, after they get sucked outside the playground with Ian – and see Ian in his chair and understand his pain a bit more – the fence disappears.
This is profound. When showing compassion, it is not about bringing people to where you are, but entering into their world and letting it expand both of yours.
Also… you can donate to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation here and help out kids like Ian.