Lara and Rachel

I met Lara and Rachel at Costco.  Look at those smiles; so inviting. I’m still getting my “sea legs” interviewing people, so I appreciate Lara’s and Rachel’s graciousness.

Lara came to the United States from Canada when her husband’s job transferred them.  She still has a little bit of the “ooo” left when she says words like “about.”  Still, I may be the only one who picks up on that, since I lived many years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Mary is the fourth of 10 children:  six brothers and  three sisters.  Her oldest sister was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a congenital condition, that among other things, left her sister mildly retarded.   Lara and I talked about how terms have evolved since she and I were a children.  When my own child was a youngster, the politically correct term was “Mildly Mentally Impaired.”  Things may have shifted again.  At any rate, Lara’s big sister’s mental development reached about the same place as most eight-year-olds.  Lara’s childhood was infused with lessons on charity and tolerance.

Lara is 43 years old.  She is a student ministry assistant for junior high and high scStained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...hool students.  She loves the Lord Jesus and believes it’s a relationship, not a religion.  Isn’t that beautifully said?  She says the Harvest Bible Chapel, where shares her love, is a good fit for her.

When Lara was a little girl, she enjoyed freedom.  She could ride her bike anywhere and she could spend hours outside, just playing.  She says, “I could be myself.  I could make choices for me.”  In our over-organized world, that’s something most kids lack today.

Rachel is 14 years old and in the eight grade.  She likes sewing and drawing and other kinds of art stuff.  She plays the flute and piccolo.  She likes running cross country, too.  She speaks out against bullying.  I can hardly believe it, but this little sweetie was bullied once herself.  It was a tough experience, her friends started to leave her side.  Rachel fought back in by remaining true to her friends, returning meaness with kindness and trusting that her true nature would be recognized.  in the end, her gracious behavior paid off and the loyalty of her friends returned.

When Rachel grows up she wants to have a job that has something to do with art.  Maybe a teacher.  For sure, she wants to be someone who helps.

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