Sitting down for a quick lunch, after a business meeting, a colleague asked about a mutual friend. “How’s Aaron?”

I explained that he was struggling with his job, home life and everything else in his life.  Aaron is a middle-aged mentally challenged man who has lived a perfect life.  Now he seems determined to smash it all with resentments and bad behaviors. 

Aaron has lived a protected life, even though he has had a job in the community for most of his adult life.  He has been involved in his church and has a truly amazing relationship with the Lord. 

Softly, my friend said, “He needs a girlfriend.”

“Are you saying that a girlfriend will make all of this go away?”

“Yes.  He is at a vulnerable age where he needs to know that someone loves him.  He needs a girlfriend.”

All of us need the love of others.  Most of us need the love of the opposite sex who will tenderly express to us that we are valued for who we are–not for what we can do or achieve.  God has made us this way.  Statistics tell us that after the death of a spouse, a man is much more likely to seek another marriage than a woman.  Women appear to be more content to live alone after their husband has died. 

Within the mentally challenged community, our members need this kind of love as much–or maybe more–than others.  Helping them to be able to find this could be a great gift of committed pastoral love.  For Aaron, it will mean sitting down with his protective but loving parents and endeavoring to help them see his hurts, needs and desires.

I will need God’s grace!