You’ve read about my story Be Champion in Faith. I want to tell you that much of my inspiration comes from my thirteen-year-old cousin, Spencer, who has Down Syndrome. Spencer’s disability has never caused my family to treat him differently, but the rest of the world is not as accepting of him. Most people’s reaction toward Spencer is to avoid or exclude him, but that means they miss seeing the kindness in his heart and knowing the amazing kid he is. Witnessing the harsh reality of Spencer’s life has made me aware of the ignorant and sometimes cruel world that we live in.

I am so grateful God allowed Spencer into my life, because it has given me an awareness of those who may not be considered “perfect” according to society’s standards. Because of him, I have a greater understanding that we are all created in the image of God. All Spencer needs to be happy is for someone to say hello to him or to include him in a game. The little things make such a big difference to him. He reminds me to enjoy the simple pleasures of life when I’m tempted to get swallowed up in the pressures of the world.

I only wish you had the opportunity to meet Spencer. He would be of inspiration you too, no doubt! But you know what? There are people like Spencer all around you. Take the time to speak to them, love them, and interact with them—your life will be richer for it.

Does this story strike a chord for you? Read the entire May 2018 issue here.

Photo by Vincent Stadlbaur