Every other Tuesday I attend a mom’s group at our church. It’s called Capernaum and it’s specifically for moms of kids with special needs. Our church has a great Women’s ministry with several activities during the week for moms. I’ve tried a couple out, but they just didn’t seem to be a right fit. I love going to Capernaum. I’m the only one in the group that has a kid with a physical disability (the rest have developmental or behavioral issues), but I still feel like there’s something comforting about the group.
It might be because the other mom groups have 20+ people and this one only has 6. It might be that the other group meets in a large room with a tile floor, white walls, plastic chairs and folding tables, but Capernaum meets in the church parlor with comfy chairs, couches, lamps (lamps always make things feel more homey) and flowers (who cares if they’re fake). It might be that even though the moms in Capernaum have kids with different challenges than Ella has, they still have kids with challenges, so I know they understand, even a little bit, how our life is different from others. There are things I talk about in Capernaum that I would never mention in one of the other bible studies. There are prayer requests that would go unmentioned in any other group, but in Capernaum I feel like I can say them.
Today the women finished up a book that they’ve been going through for several months. Since I just joined before Christmas I didn’t read the book with them and have just listened in on the discussion. Today the chapter was about heaven. As we were talking several of us tried to imagine our kids in heaven…perfect…flawless…without their special need.
It’s hard to imagine Ella without bandages. When she was a baby she was much less bandaged than she is now, so I can picture her right leg without boo boos, and her tummy without boo boos, but her left leg…no, in my mind it will never be normal. During the discussion I joked that in heaven Ella will still wear bandages, I just won’t have to change them. Maybe that’s true. The bandages are such a part of who she is that something just wouldn’t feel right if they weren’t there. I feel the same way about her scars…they tell her story, and I don’t ever want to forget her story…even in heaven.
I guess, as I reflect back on the discussion, I imagine that in heaven Ella will still be Ella…scars and all. She’ll still be quiet and prefer sitting and reading a book over running around a playground. She’ll still be small compared to all the other angels flying around. And she’ll still love to sing. What will be missing is the pain, and all of us will be more than happy to give that up.