“Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.” ~1 Samuel 16:7
On the inside, Jared Higgin was just a regular kid. He liked to hang out, play video games, and see movies. But on the outside, he wasn”t so normal. He had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age seven and a year later had been confined to a wheelchair. At the time of diagnosis, the doctors told him he had only a year or so to live. That had been two and a half years ago. But he had told the doctors that he knew that he wouldn”t die, because his grandmother was still alive. “She would be devastated if I died before her,” Jared would say.
Whenever Jared would wheel himself down the halls at school he would hear snickers and stifled laughs from the rest of his classmates. He knew that they were commenting on the sickly look of his limbs and his pale, bruised face. He was hurt, but he understood where they were coming from. After all, he was them once.
Two months later, Jared”s parents got a phone call from the hospital. They said that Jared”s grandmother had undergone a severe myocardial infarction and was in guarded condition in ICU. In other words, she had a heart attack and it was bad.
That night, Jared underwent respiratory failure and had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctors said that because of his disease, he was having difficulty expanding his lungs. It wouldn”t be long, now.
Jared”s parents sat by his bedside the whole night, speaking words of encouragement that fell on deaf ears. By 2 am, Jared had fallen into a coma. The doctors told the Higgins that there was nothing that they could do. Jared Matthew Higgin died at 3:42 am.
As the Higgins sat in the cold, hospital room mourning their son”s death, Mr. Higgin”s cell phone rang. He picked it up, muttering a somber, “hello?”
Mrs. Higgin watched her husband”s face twist into a painful grimace, then into an apologetic smile. Hot tears were streaming down his face. “Thank you, thanks,” he told the phone, “yeah, bye.”
“Sorry, honâ€¦mom died at around 3:30.”
Dear Lord, Help us look past Our outward appearances And to the people inside. Amen.