Saturday, July 20, 2013


This is Zack.

He's my little brother, and he has Down's Syndrome.

He talks a lot. He loves music. He has incredible talent on the drums. He can't carry a tune, but that doesn't stop him from singing. He listens to Unshackled every day. He loves his radio. He enjoys baseball. He loves popcorn. He's learning how to cook. He has coffee every morning. His birthday is "Leptember seben." He keeps his room in impeccable order. He has a crush on another girl who has Down's. He thinks old TV shows like Andy Griffeth are the best. He's stubborn, but one  person that can always change his mind is Dad. He's 22, because you know why? Dad told him. He absolutely loves Saturdays because he gets to go to the dump with Dad and the dump guys always give him suckers. He's almost always happy. He feels things very deeply. So deeply, sometimes it makes him cry. He adores his nieces and nephews as much as they adore him. He loves people unconditionally. He loves Jesus with all his heart. 

Zack is a beautiful person with a larger-than-life capacity to love and be loved.

In a society where intelligence is measured by IQ points, where success is defined by money, where happiness is material, where beauty is superficial, where faith is a crutch, where love is complicated, where every pregnant woman is offered testing to determine Down's Syndrome so she can terminate if need be... With everything that's dark and messed up about our world, there's this beautiful space of pure sunshine called Zack.

Zack doesn't need IQ points to be so innocent and caring, to find happiness in the simplest things, and bring joy to every. single. person. he meets. Zack has taught me that sometimes intelligence clutters up our minds. It complicates our lives. We can't love as freely, find contentment so easily, and trust so willingly. Zack has no pretense, no agenda, just a free and simple love to give to anyone who will accept. So tender, so affectionate. I have watched him love the unlovable, soften the hardest of hearts, and accept the undeserving. His life has impacted so many people; he's a hero in his own beautiful way.  He knows how to laugh--at himself and at others. Have a blonde moment in front of him and he will chuckle and mutter, "What a retard." He has the best relationship advice ever--"Happy wife, happy life," he always says, especially at weddings.

His faith is so simple... so real. Sometimes I think he might be an angel unaware.

The world is a better place because of Zack and people like Zack. When I say he's special, I don't mean short-bus special. I mean really, really special. He has a gift that the world can't afford to exist without.

I'm proud of Zack. I love having him as a brother, I love that he's my kids' adored uncle. I love that he is who he is and that he's part of our family.

He's da man.

For you fashioned my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I thank you because I am awesomely made, wonderfully; your works are wonders--I know this very well.

My bones were not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed.

God, how I prize your thoughts!

Psalms 139


  1. What a lovely tribute to your darling brother! He is a blessed young man to have been born into a family that "gets it."

    1. The most beautiful tribute to a brother I ever heard. I know the words are true!!! Because I happen to know Zack, and Zack is DA MAN. I miss him so much. Love uncle Jack.

  2. Dear Brittany,
    Thanks for sharing about Zack and for sharing God's heart. We haven't met you all (yet) but look forward to it.
    Joan Brown


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