Working with special needs kids has kind of made me more aware of special needs adults in our community.
We have a man at our church who is special needs. He's my age but I think we all think of him as a "young man". He goes to Sunday school with the teenagers even though he functions a bit lower than that.
Every so often it's his turn to bless the sacrament. His mom prints out the words for him to read and I think everyone in the congregation pays special attention to each and every word, each of us praying with him and praying for him, that he gets it exactly right and doesn't have to do it again.
It's hard to describe the special spirit that he brings to the routine of blessing the bread and water, but it is definitely felt as one hears his voice saying the prayer and struggling to say it just right, or seeing him with his limited motor skills breaking the bread.
It has happened that he has done the blessing on fast and testimony Sunday a few times and invariably, his special spirit inspires people to come up and bear their testimony. That's exactly what happened this Sunday. As soon as the time was turned over for testimonies, a gentleman in the back, who happened to be visiting our ward, popped up and strode to the podium. He said that this special man inspired him to get up, and that he rarely bears his testimony, let alone comes to church these days, but that he could not stay in his chair. He went on to bear a beautiful testimony of the gospel.
It's amazing how these special souls who walk among us touch others, especially if we open ourselves up to their unique spirits. I often wonder as I work with the 3 and 4 year olds at my job, what their future holds. I do know that they teach me more than I teach them, and for that I am grateful.