Slight of frame with sandy hair and gentle eyes, “Sam” came to our middle school resource room when Friedreich’s Ataxia, a degenerative disease that attacked his nervous system, necessitated a more sheltered environment. His case was especially aggressive.
In a short period of time Sam’s handwriting deteriorated from normal squiggles and scratches to half-formed words trailing faintly off to the bottom of the paper. When his posture weakened, he slumped sideways. His gait became increasingly erratic and soon he needed a wheelchair.
His sense of humor and teachable spirit remained strong, however, and as much as he could he enjoyed the high-energy antics of a small group of buddies who sometimes snuck him out on wild rides through the hallways, his shrieks of delight trailing behind.
While I sorrowed for Sam I also observed that quality of life defies codification; I observed that however valueless a life such as Sam’s may be in the eyes of a world that slows for no one, his life, as best he could manage, was no less lived. And he was no less loved.
I sometimes think about how each of us at times enters “halt and lame” in our own way into the presence of Jesus in prayer. For who has not suffered some ailment of body, mind, or soul? Who does not have some special need, overt or smoldering somewhere in the heart’s recesses?
But in Jesus’ company we have a High Priest Who is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities” and Who invites us to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” . For each of our lives, like Sam’s, is no less special, no less lived, and no less loved in the eyes of our Friend.
 Hebrews 4:15, 16 KJV