Two Hands, Two Souls, and the Glory of God Displayed

We were in disbelief as we considered what the Lord had done that day.

Deformity and handicaps are some of the hardest things in the world. They are a stumbling block for many, and perhaps an excuse for many people to keep themselves from forsaking their sin and coming to the Lord. Even for us believers, it is very easy to forget that God is Sovereign over these deformities and that He has a plan to glorify Himself through them.

 

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3)

Those were the words spoken by Jesus to the disciples when they asked him why the blind man in John 9 was born blind.

As they passed by, they saw a question, but Jesus saw a soul.

I have a story to tell you about two souls I encountered last week.

The first is Alessandro, a twelve-year-old Italian-Peruvian boy who came to a basketball camp we were running in Rome, Italy. Desperate for friendship, the mother of Alessandro rode the bus and metro with him for one hour each way to be able to attend our camp.

When he showed up the first day, it became quite obvious that Alessandro wasn’t used to being around people. He had a form of autism and his left hand was severely deformed.

It was tough to convince him to start playing with us, but eventually, we convinced him, and he began playing with the rest of the children.

It was a joy to play with him, and the thankful mother left saying they’d be back the next day.

Surely enough he was back. The mother told us that it took a little more convincing this time to get him up, but once he showed up he was more excited and more motivated than the day before.

By Wednesday morning he was a different person. He was high fiving everyone. We didn’t have to go get him, instead, he was eager to come towards us. He did every drill with enthusiasm, and even answered some of the questions during the Gospel presentation.

In the evenings, we ran a VBS program right by the basketball courts. While singing songs, doing crafts, and doing puppet shows, we noticed there were a lot of guys playing basketball. So, a few of us went over to see if we could play. While watching, we noticed one guy who was really good, he was scoring a lot. It was obvious to me that he was the best player on the court. As he pulled up for a three-pointer—which he swished, by the way—we noticed that he was missing his left hand.

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