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The Gospel of James: Love gives Life

8 year old James watched over television someone who shared with him his uniqueness. Like Simona Atzori, James was born without his fore limbs and during the evening bulletin in one of the local TV stations, James heard that there is a lady who is visiting Kenya like him, she was without her fore limbs. James was filled with admiration for this lady and he asked whether he could meet her. Her parents informed the boy that they too knew nothing of the lady apart from the little information that they got on TV. They were apologetic that it was not possible to meet with Simona. Little James persisted in his request and cried all day all night and vowed to be at peace only after meeting Simona. The parents tried all they could and they luckily managed to get the contacts of Saint Martin CSA which was hosting Simona. They were invited for Saint Martin day celebrations and Simona agreed to meet little James. It was during this celebration that James and his parents were given a chance to share their gospel. Though James is too young to say much apart from greetings and saying his name, his presence made a very big impact for the entire congregation. James was smiling throughout and not at any moment did he show any signs of frustration. His jovial mood and smile only expressed what was deep within him; a very happy child. A child who is full of life. We all wondered what gives James such happiness, what makes him so full of life and our curiosity was answered when James' parents got an opportunity to speak.

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"When James was born, I was totally devastated. I couldn't understand why God decided to give us a child without arms. Little by little I came to accept James the way he is and today I can publicly confess that I love him very much. If I were to be given a chance to ask for a gift from God then I wouldn't hesitate to ask Him to give me James. He is wonderful, he is a very special gift in our family."

These were the words of James' father his mother too shared how much she loves James and how he has brought many blessings in the family. She said that James has helped bring unity in the family and made them realize the power of love. From the sharing of this family it was clear that James is so alive because he has been loved. Love has transformed him into a full human being. He is so complete and his happiness is not determined by his not having arms. Love is so powerful that it makes us appreciate and accept others just the way they are. In a country where issues of disability are still viewed as a curse and a punishment from God, such a message carries a lot of weight. In all the audiences Simona interacted with, she was sure to be asked one common question, "How did your parents react when you were born without arms?" Beneath the concern to know the reaction of the parents, was the unpronounced fear that should God give me child without arms, I would not take it kindly. Simona always said that she has managed to become who she is today because she was loved. Her parents loved her and this love gave her life. Its amazing how this gospel was shared in similar words by people from two different races, nationalities, economic class, age, and religion. Love is a universal language. It does not know of any barriers. Love fills all the chasms that hatred, human greed and division create. This is the beauty of love.

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