In the weeks leading up to Christmas day, many churches put together a Nativity Christmas pageant performed by the children of the church community.
But one church decided to put on a Nativity play performed by children with Down syndrome, titled “He Came Down.”
Amoung the children was Leeva, the daughter of the church pastor. When Leeva was born, her parents felt conflicted with mixed emotions, struggling to understand God’s reasons for giving them a child with Down syndrome.
At first, Leeva’s parents struggled to understand the position they were put in. “Why us?” her mother would ask.
But after much prayer and thought, Leeva’s mother began to understand her struggle through Mary, who also asked the question, “why me?” when faced with the uncertainty of being the mother of God.
Like Leeva’s mom, Mary felt confused and alone with the baby God had given her. For both women, their babies were not what they’d planned for.
Leeva’s mom praised Mary, because “She’s humble. She’s calm. She’s reassured by the fact that everything is going to be okay.”
And once they each realized their children were made according to God’s plan and not their own, they began to see the amazing gifts they had and lessons they could teach.
“In my old view, before [Leeva] taught me, I thought she would lack,” Leeva’s mom said. “I know it’s no one’s fault. It’s no one’s fault someone is born with a disability. But you still feel like, ‘but why did this happen to us?'”
Leeva’s mom continues to see God working through her daughter, and knows how much of a gift Leeva truly is.
“It just took time for me to realize that God’s answer wasn’t so much what was wrong with Leeva as much as there was something wrong with the way I was thinking,” she said.
In the video of the Nativity play, Leeva’s mother told her family’s story while the scenes from the play were narrated in between.
A woman with Down syndrome narrated the rhymed production, while children performed the scene of the nativity.
And Leeva’s mom came away with a deeper understanding of how God was always working in her family’s lives. “What we learnt was that God was with us, God suffered with us. And He gave us the most beautiful child, and there was no reason for me to grieve… or compare her, or feel sorry for her.”
The lives of Leeva and every other child in “He Comes Down” can serve as an example that life with Down syndrome is an amazing and beautiful creation of God.
As the narrator said, Jesus “shared in our weakness and meekness and mess and still he embraced us nevertheless. If you’re feeling rejected, excluded, a stranger, remember the one who came down to the manger.”
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