Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social
pressures, and a couple by habit. This year, nearly 100,000 women will
become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how mothers of
handicapped children are chosen?

Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for
propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs
His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron saint, Matthew." "Forrest, Marjorie, daughter.
Patron saint, Cecelia." "Rudledge, Carrie, twins. Patron saint... give her
Gerard. He's used to profanity."

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child a mother who does
not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But has she patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience or she will drown in a sea of
self-pitty and despair. Once the shock and resentment wears off, she'll
handle it."

"I watched her today. She has that feeling of self and independence that is
so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her
has his own world. She has to make it live in her world and that's not
going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just
enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally,
she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less
than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will
never take for granted a 'spoken word'. She will not consider a 'step' ordinary.
When her child says 'Momma" for the first time she will be present at a
miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child,
she will see it as few people ever see my creations. "I will permit her to
see clearly the things I see... ignorance, cruelty, prejudice...and allow her
to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every
minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is
here by my side."

"And what about her patron saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in

God smiles. " A mirror will suffice."