Shining moments: Caring at Christmas

Planning a trip to Salt Lake City, including a visit to Temple Square, was part of the agenda for a Thanksgiving weekend journey. We were traveling with my sister and her family.

Upon arriving at Temple Square on Friday evening, our excitement grew as the children anticipated the Christmas season and the ceremonial lighting of the Temple Square Christmas lights. My sister's second son, Chad Robinson, had survived a near-drowning accident when he was 3, and now, five years later, it left him confined to a wheelchair and with limited motor skills. However, the accident could not dampen his enthusiasm for the lights, sounds and sights of Temple Square.Arriving within the gates, we found a place to sit on the cement border around a flower bed. We arranged Chad's wheelchair so he would be able to best see the lights.

People passed, some curiously glancing in Chad's direction and then hurrying on their way. Others were oblivious to the little boy in the wheelchair.

As the music surrounded us, Chad's eyes lit up and a big smile formed. While he was in a coma for seven months after his accident, music filled his hospital room at the Primary Children's Medical Center. Music was his tie to the outside world.

About that time, a young man approached us. I could tell by the way his feet moved that he had suffered a serious injury at some time in his life. The special young man bent down to Chad's level and placed Chad's hands under the warmth of his poncho, saying, "You need to keep those hands warm."

Then rising a bit, he patted Chad's head and continued, "I know what you are going through. I used to be like you. They told me I would never walk. Someday you will walk, too. You have a nice time and keep warm. Merry Christmas."

And with his quick greeting over, the young man continued on his way into the crowd.

I will never be the same again as I come into contact with someone who has disabilities. Like the Savior, this young man took time to serve those who were less mobile than he. Jesus didn't ignore those in need, or pass on the other side, but took time to serve in a small, gentle way. What better way to celebrate our Savior's birth than to emulate his life and teachings.

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