Sunday, May 24, 2009

Groothuis on Chronic Illness and Redemptive Suffering

On Wedenessay, May 27, I will be speaking in a class at Denver Seminary called Redemptive Suffering. I will address chronic illness and redemptive suffering. This is not a one-off public lecture, but part of a for-credit course, so the public is not invited. However, if you would like my lecture outline (which is substantial), please let me know. This will be the first time I have given a lecture dedicated to this issue.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Little Friend

Recently, I met a little boy named Aidan Perkins. Aidan is the three-year old son of one of my students at Metro State College of Denver. He is smart, fun, and very active. He likes to throw things, and proceeded to do that with the small stuffed animal I gave him when he and his mother visited my office at Denver Seminary a few weeks ago. He later drew a crayon picture for me and other for my mother (who gave him some frog stickers). I think he has impressionist leanings.

Aiden began his life with a chronic illness, a rare condition known as Happle Syndrome, which is a form of dwarfism with many complications. He is the only known male to survive past birth with this deformity. Aiden is three, but is about as tall as one-year old. I hope to see him again soon and pray for him and his parents.

His parents love him deeply, but have a heavy load of doctor visits, difficult decisions, and they must deal with social situations in which inept people single Aidan out of the crowd in rude ways. His brave mother, Amanda, refused the doctor's evil advice to abort him when his uniqueness was revealed during the pregnancy. I hope you will look at his other pictures and read his story.

There is a special place in God's heart for children, as Jesus showed us. Moreover, God exhorts us to care for and bless "the least of these," of which Aidan is one (Matthew 25:31-46). As we treat them, so also we treat Jesus. Please pray for Aidan and his family. May we all welcome and love little ones like him.