Other people are not able
So they place a label on me
See, my soul it is my lifeline
God came to me long ago
I'm going to give you riches
But for this special blessing
But this must remain a secret
And if you ever decide
And so I kept my part
I wrote this poem when I was a 17-year-old senior in high school. My English teacher had given the class an assignment to form groups and have each person in the group write a poem from the perspective of a particular person in a particular place and time.
My group chose to write about standing in line on Judgment Day. One young woman in the group chose to write from the perspective of a prostitute; another student chose to write from the perspective of a doctor. I chose to write from the perspective of a person with a mental disability. In a fiction book I once read, one of the characters had a brother who had been labeled mentally retarded. The character wondered if perhaps his brother had special abilities that no one knew about. That idea stuck in my mind, and I was inspired to write this poem.
The poem isn't theologically sound from a Christian perspective because our salvation isn't based on us keeping a secret; rather, it is based on our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior. However, it does raise an interesting question: Do those whom we often consider most disadvantaged perhaps actually have some special gift that makes life glorious for them in ways that those of us deemed "normal" can't quite understand? It is a hopeful thought.
Written by Michelle Stewart in 1986 and dedicated to her cousin Daniel.
The Relationship Repair and Care Clinic