The last two weeks have been mixed with darkness and grief, surprises and joy, and lots of hard work. How do I begin to share a joyful post about how my audiobook is FINALLY available without acknowledging the terrible circumstances in our country that have taken over the news and surpassed our concern with COVID-19? I don't know how to smoothly transition between the two, so here is my somewhat awkward and vulnerable post about where life is at today.
First of all, I have been dumbstruck and broken over the murder of George Floyd. The ones who went before him were also heart-wrenching, but there's something about a police officer murdering a man on video while other police officers look on and do nothing to stop him that causes my blood to run cold. Why didn't the man with the camera stop and call the police? Oh, right. The ones he would call to help were right there already. Doing NOTHING. I have cried many tears, asking God how I can help and what He needs me to do. The blood of these slain men cries out for justice.
As I have mourned and talked to my family about what happened, what's happening in our country, and how our family will respond, I've also been considering the best way to get the word out about the release of the audiobook version of Looking Up When Life Looks Down: Shattered Dreams, Medical Miracles, and Restored Hope. This book is my testimony of the miraculous things that God has done in my son Redmond's life as we've dealt with the shock of a Down syndrome diagnosis, major medical challenges that almost took his life many times, and the hope that has been restored as we've grown in our relationship with God. I recorded an audio version of it last October, and after a lot of steps I didn't realize were a part of the process, it's now available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.
Because of Redmond, I have become determined to change the way the world (and particularly the church) sees Down syndrome - and all people with disabilities. And in these last few days, I've become aware that it's not enough. I need to do what I can to usher in racial reconciliation and healing too. God created all people. Jesus died to save us ALL. Who are we to declare ourselves any better than anyone else?
One of the things I talk about in the audiobook is my unknown bias against people with Down syndrome and their families. I didn't even realize it was there until he was born and I was forced to confront my own ideas, embarrassing as they were. I don't offer any justification for how I had believed. I just confront it and talk about how I had to adjust my mindset. I've had to confront my unknown biases against people of other races and cultures than mine too. It's a hard pill to swallow when you think you're not a racist, but you become afraid when a black man with his hood up walks behind you and he knows he needs to call out to let you know he won't hurt you. (For more on that story, check out my author page on Facebook.)
This book is especially relevant during this time of global pandemic and racial crisis. The lessons I learned apply to so much more than our little corner of the world. It's encouragement for anyone who is going through a crisis or a difficult time. If you have some time to listen, I think you'll find it worth your while.