Our recent banquet with Sarah Palin in Hershey left a great impression on many of the 1,100 in attendance. We’ve heard many positive comments and praise for the event. But I like this story the best, because it helps give a more complete picture of the spirit of our event, and of the love God has for every one of His children. It’s from Steven Demme of Lancaster County, who gave me permission to post it.
On August 27th our family had the privilege of meeting and having our pictures taken with Sarah Palin at the PA Family Institute’s Annual Banquet in Hershey, PA. I had wanted Mrs. Palin to meet my 23 year old son with Down Syndrome ever since I heard that she had been blessed with a son with Down Syndrome 2 years ago.
During her speech that evening Sarah (after you hear her speak you feel that you can call her by her first name) spoke from her heart about how her pro-life convictions were tested when she learned she was carrying Trigg. Because of her inner struggles and other factors, she did not announce she was expecting a child until she was 7 months along. But with all of the layers of clothes worn during an Alaska winter it was easy to conceal her pregnancy.
She also shared how each child, created in the image of God, has something to offer and contribute. In Ephesians 4:16 we read “every joint supplies”. Later that evening my family saw this truth illustrated.
As we were leaving this blessed event where we had been encouraged and inspired, we stopped at a red light leaving the parking lot. There were three bearded rough looking characters demonstrating against Sarah Palin by holding large posters with a picture of Jesus holding up the middle finger.
My first inclination was to get out of the car, but I noticed that John (our 23 year old with Downs) was rolling down his window. He had captured the front seat and was riding shot gun closest to the protesters. We all watched and wondered what would happen.
He leaned his innocent head out and said “Hey!”. They responded with a greeting and a slight smile. Then as the light changed and I was driving around the corner, he leaned out further with his two fingers making a “V” and said in a loud voice. “Peace Man!” Then he laughed.
We laughed out loud in the car. Even the rough looking men carrying their posters laughed. John had overcome evil with good.
All I could think of was how only my son could have pulled that off. Only an innocent heart, who loves people of all stripes, could have turned a potential altercation into a source of joy. Indeed, all of us are created in the image of God, all of us have value, and all God’s children are supplying something unique and precious to the body of Christ.