When my family approached me asking if I’d like a celebration with friends and family for my Beauty from Ashes book release, I said yes! A few days later the idea came to my mind that we could make the night about celebrating people with special needs and making them feel valued instead of just focusing on me as an author. My book had been about my son Kyle, who has autism, so I was already involved in the special needs community.
Being an author is viewed as an accomplishment in this world, but I knew it held very little importance next to valuing people for who they are and celebrating the gifts they have to offer.
I believed God wanted to host a Red Carpet Event. You’re probably wondering why? Let me explain: Our world hosts red carpet events for those in the entertainment business. If you make it on the red carpet, our society usually values you. If you are good at pretend, you can be paid millions of dollars for acting. If you are born with a beautiful singing voice, you can live in a mansion after reaping the benefits of selling millions of songs. If you can trash talk people till you red in the face, you may earn yourself a reality TV show for being nasty.
If you are kind, sweet and loving, chances are you have been at the back of the pack your whole life. My son Kyle who has autism was never offered the leading role or bright spot in Christmas concerts or school plays. He was usually thrown in the back, to not make too much commotion or distract the audience, because we are a performance-based society. When one of my other children who stumbled with their speech, wasn’t saying their lines without stuttering or with perfection, the person in charge of a production threatened to take his part from him. When did it become about performance and making the director look good, instead of letting a child shine… flaws and all?
On the Special Stars night, God wanted these kids and adults to feel they were so highly valued in his eyes they were worthy of a red carpet under their precious feet. But how was I going to get a roll of red carpeting? Someone in the hosting business told me a wedding coordinator had looked for a red carpet all over our city of 70, 000 people, but couldn’t get her hands on one. I was really putting my faith out there that God could drop a red carpet from heaven for our Special Stars.
I wanted the symbolism there. But the carpeting stores didn’t carry it anymore, it was an item that needed to be specially ordered. How were we going to get red carpeting? I knew it had to be a God moment since it looked nearly impossible.
The day before the dinner, I still didn’t have a red carpet and was letting God know that time was running out. I made a list of errands I needed to run around town. On my list was picking up more raffle tickets. God and I had been bickering about this for a few days. He told me to pick more up. I told him we had enough. Finally, he said, Just obey me. So down to Show Stoppers I went to pick up more raffle tickets I didn’t need. While I was there, I ordered some pretty helium balloons, and then I heard the whisper: Ask if they have red carpeting. Good grief! Sometimes I tell God his ideas are dumb and he just rolls his eyes. I turned to the sales clerk wincing, “You wouldn’t happen to have a roll of red carpeting … would you?” To my surprise, she said yes!
She went to the back to talk to the owner as I followed ecstatically, trying not to jump up and down. He asked me what I needed a roll of red carpet for? I explained to him about my book and our Special Stars Night. I could see emotions passing over his face. He told me he and his wife were caregivers to their daughter who was in her thirties and had cerebral palsy. He said I could have the carpet for the night and he wasn’t going to charge me for it! I looked at him in disbelief…ten minutes later I was driving down the road with God’s red carpet for our Special Stars.
As I drove away, I was shaking my head, and I was laughing and crying and felt just a little sheepish that I thought God had dumb ideas. He had come through for us and wanted to spoil these precious people. The owner also gave me a director’s chair at no charge to sit in on stage, I just laughed as he put it in my vehicle… but I knew God had the last laugh since I am his comedy show every day. He loves showing us the incredible way he can pull things together when we can’t. He can roll out the red carpeting on any day… he never runs out of resources. That chair sat on the stage empty all night, but the director was there… he had pulled this all together, right down to the last-minute red carpet. He had all the Special Stars seated in the front row. He gave them the best seats in the house!
Five days later we were planning a fundraiser for Jazmin, my future daughter in law, who is going to purchase cancer treatment in Arizona and it is not covered by insurance… I guess God was just a bit smarter than I thought. We will be using the raffle tickets for her event … the ones I told God I didn’t need and thought were a dumb idea.
I’m hoping you too will see the value of people whom the world may see as imperfect, but God sees as precious. After all aren’t we all creations of God, created by him? He never makes mistakes and values us no matter what our abilities are. We are the ones with the silly measuring stick we ask people to measure up to. Maybe it’s time to throw out the stick and embrace each other … since each of us comes with our own imperfections💗
Psalm 139: 13-18
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. You saw my unformed body; All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand- when I awake, I am still with you.
Believing and hoping.
*Photos by Mark Jobst owner of Simply Photography
Photo booth photos by Hailey Hayes