When disability meets God's ability

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

His name was B. He was Kurdish and in the third grade. Because his reading level was comparable to a beginning first grader, he and I read together, trying to bridge that learning gap.

B's parents reported that he hadn't talked until he was five years old, so they were not troubled by his lack of school progress. Instead they were grateful for whatever he could do.

I found B to be happy, cooperative, and capable. He taught me a little of what it was like to be Kurdish. My goal was to help him catch up. He was almost two years behind class expectations. He would need to make three year's progress in that one year to be at the expected grade level.

What appeared to be a major problem for B was a dysfunctionally slow reading rate, even on text that was easy for him. So slow, that information at the beginning of the sentence escaped him by the time he completed the sentence. He didn't comprehend what he read.

During this time I prayed for teaching insight. I use the Bible and a book based on the Bible's inspired message, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, as a base for my prayers. Both of these books speak of the power of God and of His love for us. And of how practical this can be in our everyday lives.

How could I best help this child? I was sure God would tell me what to do. I implemented teaching procedures that came to me, and there was definite progress, but not enough. We'd hit a wall.

I was certain that B was God's boy. That God had made him spiritual and perfect, capable, despite the weight of parental and school opinion to the contrary. I knew that God was his Father and his Teacher. God spoke to him as surely as He spoke to me. Nothing could keep any of us from hearing God's messages.

Then one day when B came to read, he read fluently and at a normal rate. I was absolutely in awe. After a bit I asked him to tell me how he had learned to read like that. Smiling, he pointed upward, indicating to me that it was God who had shown him how to read normally. We both celebrated. B never again was a dysfunctional reader, but enjoyed and comprehended whatever he read. Other teachers were working with B that year as well (and perhaps also praying). By year's end everyone agreed that, while not yet at fourth grade level, B had made remarkable progress.

This one small experience points to big lessons for me.

I've been praying about world events. This experience with B reinforces my trust that God is communicating to us all.

I know that God is good and filled with love for us. So divine communications are always right, comforting, guiding ideas. With those ideas from God, we can all meet and face down whatever is wrong, and bring wisdom to any dilemma. God is speaking to everyone, everywhere. And each of us is able to hear.

Mind is not necessarily
dependent upon educational processes. It possesses of itself
all beauty and poetry,
and the power
of expressing them.
Spirit, God, is heard
when the senses are silent.
We are all capable
of more than we do.
The influence or action
of Soul confers a freedom,
which explains the phenomena
of improvisation and
the fervor of untutored lips.
Mary Baker Eddy
(founder of the Monitor)

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