How do we see others with disabilities? Do we love them and realize their value despite their weakness? As we mature, we learn, disability does not define an individual. No person’s life is one-dimensional. Besides, people with disabilities are often more empathetic, since they are aware of the difficulties and emotions others face. In addition, weaknesses can be minimized, by developing new strengths, giving people freedom and purpose.

Past experience:

A vice gripped my stomach. My four-year-old daughter’s questioning eyes, and quivering lips crushed me. I’d made a grave mistake, wished I’d not tossed her dolly out. The toy was impossible to retrieve, gone, thrown out on the city dump and by then covered with tons of rubbish, Her woebegone inflection, ‘but I wanted her, even if she did have a leg missing,’ squeezed the band tighter.

Wasn’t it logical since she had been given two identical dolls to discard the imperfect one and keep the good one? Why would she grieve the loss?

Before she turned two, my little girl was suspended in traction in hospital for eighteen weeks and for a further twelve months was unable to move on her own, wrapped in a plaster cast from the arm-pits to the ankles. After all the months of discomfort, the treatment, designed to correct her congenital-hip deformity was less than perfect. She continued to limp. In hindsight I wonder, did my daughter identify with the doll that had one leg. I do know she loved her regardless. Had I considered this at the time, I’d never have pitched that doll out. Thankfully, I’m the recipient of the understanding the writer to the Ephesians church encouraged. He tells his readers to forgive one another‘s failings as God forgives us.


Her name was Millie, the marionette

With a mop of red hair and a polka-dot dress

She danced and swivelled by turn of a hand,

Kept in time with the community band.

Her moves enthralled her audience,

She tapped and skipped and hurdled the fence.

The children laughed at her cheeky ways,

They clapped till she bowed and slipped off the stage.


The doll lay limp, just where she’d been tossed,

Slung into her storage box.

But she did not whimper or cry nor sigh

Her eyes wide open and painted smile.


Another day, a different town,

Master ought to keep the score

She bopped, and jiggled, and bowed once more

The crowd applauded and stood to cheer,

They stamped and yelled, ‘Move up a gear.’

So she wriggled and jiggled as she’d done before,

And never grew tired, it was not a chore.

But a crack and a snap halted her jig

Millie’s legs flipped, wrapped in her wig.


The children chuckled and waved their hands

A performance like this was ah, so grand.

But Millie had crumpled and would not budge.

A push and a pull: ‘oh, a string dislodged.’

Alas, dolly’s frame refused to twist

Her inner works they would not shift.

With one last move, she tried to hide

Eyes wide open and painted smile.


Dolly lay limp, just where she’d been tossed.

Now the crowd did blink and seemed at a loss.

Surprised by the shuffle of tiny feet

The lad touched a chord; so tender did speak.

‘Kind sir, would you be willing to loan her a while,

Millie, eyes wide open and painted smile?’

‘But surely there are toys to be had galore;

Blocks, shiny trucks and trains in the store.


The doll lay limp, just where she’d been tossed,

Slung into her storage box.

But she did not whimper or cry nor sigh

Her eyes wide open and painted smile.

I held my breath, though others would mock.

He raised her up from her storage box,

‘This puppet’s the one thing, I’d like to keep.’

‘Alas she’s worthless; she can no longer leap.’

But the little one sang, ‘Oh, but do look man

She may be broken and not so glam,’

My Millie wiggles and jiggles with glee,

Her eyes wide open, she smiles at me. VC ©