A Force of Nature

Have you ever met someone who can only be described as a force of nature? You know, someone who takes the world by the horns and slays it?  I met a force today named Linda. She’s the director of a special needs school designed for kids with disabilities. It was the first school for the blind in Lebanon, opening in 1868, now called Blessed School. The ”kids” range in ages from 5 to 80, and while some are blind, the school’s reach has extended to various other disabilities as well.

Outside mural painted by students at Blessed School

Linda has limited resources, an uphill battle on many fronts, and an energy level that astounds me. Her school sits one block away from an area filled with prostitution and drugs, but inside her 4 walls is a haven for these kids. They learn as they would in any school, but she doesn’t stop there. She teaches them to serve others, to give of themselves as a gesture of love.  She serves as an advocate for not only her children, but disabled children in her community, fighting against the stigma that they face. Children with disabilities aren’t permitted in playgrounds, are often abused at home, and have no place in traditional schools. And if that weren’t enough, she teaches them crafts to earn an income. It’s more like pocket change than a significant income at this point, but she’s only getting started. I was completely blown away by the glass mosaics, the woven baskets, and the knit scarves and sweaters. And by completely blown away…I mean COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY.

Making mosaics

Linda gets up in the morning with no other purpose than to give her kids a shelter filled with love and self worth. She teaches them to be self sufficient. They do everything from caring for the school’s pet turtles to baking cookies in their small bakery. The cookies, delightful bits of chocolaty yumminess, are sold to local schools to generate income for the kids. And what comes with that pocket change? Self respect, dignity, and contentment…the tri-fecta.

~ by silkrdlady on February 28, 2018.

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