Extraordinary Art

One of the books I’m currently reading is called “Why, O God? Suffering and Disability in the Bible and Church,” edited by Larry Waters and Roy Zuck. As you might guess, I’ve got plenty of questions on these issues, but I’m not writing about the prose; I’m writing about the pictures.

I can’t think of a time I’ve ever been moved (whatever that means) by a work of art, but one of the book’s pictures grabbed my heart. It’s called “Two Brothers.”

I saw my boys in this picture. What would they do if they lost their mom and dad? Would they lean on each other and care for each other like these brothers? How can I cultivate this kind of deep, fearless, brotherly love in the hearts and minds of my sons? I don’t think the answer is simple, but I’m sure working on it.

Every time I hear them fight for a toy, compete for a place at the table, or scream to be heard over their yelling sibling my heart hurts, because they are clinging to things while they discard their brothers.

However, when I see them hug for no reason, share without prompting, or help Caedmon with genuine compassion my heart sings, because they are clinging to one another.

Maybe, if everything were stripped from them, like the brothers in this picture, they would cling tighter still. I hope they will do it anyway.

I’ll write more about “Why, O God?” in time, but you might want to pick up a copy in the meantime. You can read about the two brothers from the Philippines who inspired the drawing on Dawn Waters Baker’s blog.



  1. Ryan, I have really enjoyed your posts about the siblings of special needs kids. My children were close in age just like yours and I was often amazed at how compassionate they were and how they willingly helped their brother without complaint. My boys pushed his wheelchair from the time they could see over the handles and around Justin’s head, while my daughter spent many hours entertaining and having long conversations with her non-verbal brother. My heart often ached at the thought that Justin’s care robbed them of time and attention, but if you ask them, they view growing up with a special needs sibling as an extraordinary blessing from God and will tell you that it drew them closer together as siblings than they would have ever been otherwise. I feel certain that you will be amazed at how God will use their special brother to shape your boys into awesome men.

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