Sunday, January 21, 2018

His Heart Finds a Home

August 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

“I just want a place I can call home.”

Mike leaned forward from his seat on the edge of my couch and revealed pained bits of his life since his mother’s death. A (so-called) friend let Mike use a bedroom for his 24-hour shelter but used Mike’s monthly stipend inappropriately for his own gain.

New hope for a real home rose when Mike moved to a group home. This didn’t work out either. Mike moved out and onto another group home, another new “friend” and then another group home.

A special needs adult, Mike’s heart always believes the best will come when a new friend offers to help. His heart broken each time he realizes he’s been taken advantage of, yet again.

Thoughts flash through my mind as I hear Mike describe the co-residents at his newest group home and as he described a couple of group trips that were being planned.

“Will this group home work? Will the administrator give up the job in frustration over dealing with special needs adults and leave the residents to scatter to new locations? Is he somewhat happy? Does he have good meals? Are his medical needs met? Does
someone care about Mike as a human being?”

My thoughts are abruptly interrupted as I hear Mike say, “I’m going to church Sunday.”

This is the church that he and his mother attended for years. He is known and accepted there by people who welcome Mike “as is” with his bashful smile, big heart, and huge hugs. Only God knows for sure what Mike’s capacity is for understanding the Biblical truths outlined in sermons and reinforced with fill-in-the-blank note sheets.

Really though, isn’t that the way it is with all of us?

Maybe we could all be classified “special needs” in one way or another. God communicates with each of His children, regardless of our capacity for understanding. It’s not a mind connection for any of us, but heart and spirit.

“… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance (Is he autistic or something? Do you think he can really understand what’s going on in this church service? Why does he come to church?), but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV

Mike’s heart connects with God in a familiar setting of this church that he’s known for years. I wonder if Mike soaks up depth from polished sermons or does God “simply” meet Mike’s special need of giving him an everlasting home where his heart can rejoice in knowing he’s truly loved and cared for?

Romans 8:16  confirms the ability of any person, regardless of special developmental or emotional needs to communicate with their Creator. “The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.”

When Mike’s visit began, I felt guilty. He sat on my brand-name couch in a well-kept home with amenities that is group home didn’t have as he revealed that he just wanted a place to call home.

In reality, Mike knew just where to go to fill his special need of a forever home.


Mary Ellen Shedron By career, Mary Ellen is a web journalist for the CBS-affiliate station in northern Indiana. In “real life,” she is a born-again Christian who pursues God’s heart. At 50-something, Mary Ellen is
single and wonderfully blessed with family and friends who help her battle multiple sclerosis.


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