And a little child shall lead them

bikers-1347584Her name is Hannah and yet, many call her by her label, “Developmentally Delayed” or “Special Needs.” Hannah engages, deeply engages, with the people around her. She wants to know the person’s name and always asks, “are you okay?” Hannah is deeply empathetic and will approach anyone in a wheelchair, or using a walker, or on crutches, or with a cast wanting to know, “what happened?” and “are you okay?” Often those of us who live in the delusion of being labeled “normal” will try to shoo Hannah away from the person, apologizing for the indiscretion of her deep caring and empathy. Hannah lives the Latin definition of compassion, “to suffer with.” When she sees a crucifix she begins kissing the feet and the hands of Jesus saying, “he’s hurt; he’s bleeding!” The presence of God is profound in Hannah and she sees people for who they are, for their heart, their essence.

I was recently with Hannah at a Biker’s (as in Harley Davidson motorcycles) Rally and while most people labeled “normal” would not approach a big, burly biker dude, dressed in black leather with chains, and numerous tattoos, Hannah did. She approached one of the bikers and asked him about his tattoos and, of course, wanted to know if he was okay. Hannah moves with ease among people who look and think and dress much differently than she does in her pretty pink outfit and her labelled designation.

Seeing Hannah hold hands with a biker dude who walks with her protectively over to be with her daddy calls me to think about the people who love me, accept me and walk with me in my God-quest. Sometimes we silently cry out for someone to accept us as we are, to see past the exterior of our black leather and chains, someone who will take us by the hand and walk with us in the God-quest and into the loving arms of our Father!

May God grace each of you with the tremendous gift and blessing of a “Hannah” in your journey. And may you have the grace and courage to take the hand of those whom God places in your life, despite their outward appearances, to accompany you on the spiritual journey.

– Blog entry by Sister Karen Elliott


  1. Beautiful, Karen. Touched my heart and challenged me. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. Thanks for sharing your tender story, Karen. What an example to me.

  3. Thanks for sharing Karen and thank you Hannah for calling me to be the best version of myself, the version
    God created me to be😊

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