Monday, November 08, 2004

By the grace of God...

If you haven't ever watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, all I can tell you is that... well, you should.

Rarely does television touch us very deeply, certainly not in a spirital way, but my hat goes off to ABC for a program that does.

Last night, the "design team" re-designed a house for a family of deaf parents who have one blind-autistic 10 year-old son, and one "normal" 17 year old son. (I put normal in quotations, because it feels wrong to call him normal, as if it insults the rest of them.) The autistic son was born with more challenges than most people face in the course of a lifetime, and it takes every minute his parents and brother can spare, to take care of him. As a consequence, the parents haven't been able to live their own lives because they literally have to watch him every second of the day or he will escape from the house. This is to say nothing of the 17 year old brother, who graciously takes care of his deaf parents and brother without a complaint.

The father puts together cars in an auto parts plant. His salary isn't much, and he's never been able to provide for his family the way he wanted.

Then, in swoops Ty Pennington and Co., and they transform this house into a magical place with every possible piece of technology necessary to make sure the autistic boy is safe and accounted for at all times... and in that, space (and time) for the parents to finally live their own lives too.

With the help of deaf actress Marlee Matlin, the show managed to pull together a 50-thousand dollar scholarship for the normally-abled son to go to college -- a dream he had put aside because the family wasn't able to afford it.

ABC and the crew of that show deserve so many blessings for doing what they do, particularily for transforming the lives of this family. The work they do is guided by God, and it is truly an amazing thing.

I can only pray that someday, I can give back like that. May God bless us all with even just one opportunity in our lives to do so.