Sometime in my early 20’s, a friend gave me the book, Praying Hyde.  It was the story of a missionary to India, John Hyde who lived from 1865-1912.  Hyde spent so much time on his knees praying for the Indian people and other countries that he had calloused knees.  His story had a great impact on me; and from the day I picked up the book, I wanted Praying Hyde knees. 

What I had known since my childhood became a burning fire in my belly.  Through prayer, I could be a part of God’s hand moving around the world and never leave my house. 

Of course, being “The Perfect Pharisee” that I am, this become a great source of pride for me as I strived to acquire my own calloused knees.  Finally, the Lord spoke to me and told me to get up off my knees and learn to pray in a different position.  Quietly, He said in loving correction, “You’ll never have Praying Hyde knees.” 

Of ten our best efforts become times of silly extravagance and distortion.  That is when we realize how miserably Adamic our human nature really is.  Therefore, I’m not terribly surprised by off-handed comments people make that are offensive or disparaging–even when they are made about the wonderful population that we serve.

However, what did surprise me last night was a comment made by the comedian, Dennis Miller, who said that he worked on a weekly basis with people with intellectual disabilities.  “They have more dignity and integrity than most people I’ve ever met,”  Miller said.

Thank you, Mr. Miller for your keen insight.  Of course, the members of our population have their faults, sins and shortcomings.  But it is a wonderful privilege to be able to minister to these men and women who daily exhibit integrity and love. 

The Holy Spirit was right.  I never got my Praying Hyde knees and I’m sure it’s too late now.  Yet, I got something much better.  I get to pray for and work for an amazing population of God’s most amazing individuals.  Thanks be to God.

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