Danny — My Very Most Favorite
Danny — My Very Most Favorite
Many years ago, when I taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School in St. Paul, Minnesota, I had a very special student — Danny. Danny was a Down’s syndrome boy around thirty years old. He was actually the “smartest” student in our sixth grade classes.
Danny faithfully attended Sunday School and Vacation Bible School simply because he loved Jesus so very much. He wouldn’t have missed this opportunity for the world. He was kept at a sixth grade level because they were the closest to his size. If a teacher asked a question, Danny was sure to give a correct answer.
That answer seemed to always hold the other students in awe. Dumbfounded, they would really learn from the truthful simplicity of Danny’s answers, as I affirmed his correctness.
When sixth graders first became acquainted with Danny, they would definitely shy away from him and even make fun of him. During recess at Vacation Bible School, Danny would always hold my hand as we walked out to the playground. At first, the other sixth graders would chant, “Danny has a girlfriend!” I would reply with a grin, “He most certainly does, because he’s the sharpest kid in class!” Giggles rippled throughout the group.
But, very soon there was no more chanting, nor giggles. Why? It was evident that Danny was, in all his simplicity, the “smartest” student in class. Danny was smart because he honestly knew the love of Jesus.
When asking the class, “What is sin?” Danny quickly replied, “That’s like when my sister stays out very late on a date. She makes Daddy and Mommy’s heart to hurt.”
What is more pertinent to the definition of sin than the hurting heart of our heavenly Father as He sees our evil ways? Danny’s right. His answer led to a great in-depth discussion.
When asking, “What is love?” Danny beamingly replies, “That’s Jesus dying on the cross for me.” Right again, Danny! There was more discussion and truth finding on the subject of love.
I remember asking, “What is a missionary?” Danny excitedly answered, “That’s someone who loves Jesus, like me!” How right you are, Danny!
In a sixth grade class in St. Paul, Minnesota, Danny was the very best missionary. He taught the other kids about love, right and wrong, our mission in this life, and the personal redemption of our Lord and Savior for each and every one of us.
St. Paul, Minnesota had a very special missionary that they grew to love and deeply respect.
We don’t have to be some top-notch theologian to be a true missionary. We don’t have to go to some far-off country and learn a different language. Danny didn’t. He just loved Jesus where he was. It was where God put him. It was where God wanted him.
Danny’s love emanated through all of his actions and cheerfulness. His physical condition was not made a hindrance. His mental acuity did not create an imagined difficulty. His inability to travel did not prevent his powerful witness.
We, too, are witnesses where ever God has placed us in this life. We don’t have to be ashamed of our “mental acuity” because what we have is God’s gift to us. We don’t have to bemoan our physical condition because God knows all about it and has promised to be with us. We don’t have to feel demoted because we cannot travel to a specific mission field, because God has put us where He wants us to work His word.
It’s where we are that we are needed. Danny didn’t have a clue as to how well God used him. We don’t have to have a clue either.
We just have to love our Lord Jesus and show that love in our everyday living.
We may never know the “statistics” of how many we have led to the one-and-only Savior. We don’t have to know. We just have to love our God and Savior for all that He has done for us. That love will fulfill its mission as God wants it.
Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, IF you have love for one another.”
1 John 2:5-6, “But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”
May we always walk as Jesus walked. Danny did.