Who has the Handicap?


"No burden is he to bear, we'll get there. For I know he will not encumber me, because he ain't heavy--he's my brother"~ Author unknown. If anyone has a proprietary interest in this story please authenticate and I will be happy to credit, or remove, as the circumstances dictate.

A remarkable thing occurred recently at work. It clearly put into perspective what the term "A walking Bible" truly means as Brandon (the young man who inspired the poem "Who Has The Handicap") stated to me though very hard for him to do with his degenerative disease, something profound and eternal.

A few nights ago, we talked during my one hour lunch break and I asked him how he was doing. Without a moment's pause he stated, "I am doing good. I'm thankful!" I did not solicit what he would say next which made an indelible impact on me and those who were within a reasonable range to listen.

"I get on my knees every night and pray and I read the book (Bible) too." He went further to talk about a Bible Study he has in his home each week. "I take notes and put them in my pocket and keep them in my pocket all day." The notes he showed me were difficult to read as his motor skills as a result of his cerebral palsy make it hard for him to write. However, he knows precisely what he writes. Although my printing is more legible, it dawned on me that with this being the case, it made little difference as I sadly cannot think of the last time I took notes during any Bible Studies I've been involved in recently. I had no place to hide nor did I have any excuses. For a moment, I wished I could crawl under the nearest table as I was smitten with guilt and sharply affected by his faith--his unswerving faith!

I was simply rendered speechless. When was the last time I got on my knees and prayed? Desperately trying to think of the last time I had done so only further drove the stake of shame and remorse deeply into my very being. Truly, I thought to myself, who had the handicap?

There are many ways in which we can all see painfully well our handicaps. Perhaps not always in the form of a physical handicap, but most assuredly a spiritual one without question. And to beat all, as he came over to my desk to clean up the garbage and replace the liner in the trash can, I felt a gentle touch on my shoulder. I looked over my shoulder and there stood Brandon with a smile on his face. He was encouraging me non-verbally and I could not easily dismiss the feelings that rushed through my mind during that brief touch from a young man who was fit, truly fit, spiritually. In his way, he was telling me that I was not heavy, but rather his brother.

Family doesn't equate to ones' progeny or blood-line heritage. Brandon is my brother and a walking (though difficult for him to do) Bible in every possible sense of the word! As we enter into the year 2.000, may we view each other as brothers and sisters. If we are to know the meaning of success, we must see one another as family, forgive and love each other unconditionally, and recognize that while we're on our way to there through life's journey, only together will we get there. Brandon defines success the way in which it should be defined. No burden is he, for he is my brother...

Who Has The Handicap? (Our Daily Reminder)! By Brian G. Jett ~1999

I'm learning each and everyday, from a young man who can hardly speak

He teaches me something new each day, as I watch him mop and sweep

His staggered gait doesn't stop him, from walking to work each day

And every time I talk to him, he has a smile and a nice word to say

As he struggles to open the liner, to empty the trash each night

I am reminded of how much he has, visioned cleared with true insight

He has no degrees or education, but he is wiser than most I've met

And tonight I saw him setting alone, head bowed--he seemed upset

"What's wrong Brandon?", I asked--he replied, "Nothing is wrong with me."

"I feel bad for a kid I saw, he's little and can't even see!"

So when I think I have it bad, feeling down and emotionally flat

I think of Brandon and start to wonder, ..."Who has the handicap?"

~Brian G. Jett brian@hangtough.com

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