Lucas Jacobson’s Story
by Nancy Ruddy
My love for Lucas began from the moment he was conceived. I remember how happy I was when his parents, our dearest friends, called to announce the good news! Only years later would I realize just how much he has impacted me by his love!
I saw Lucas for the first time when he was only a couple days old. This is after I received an urgent phone call from his mother, Nikki, informing me that Lucas was born 10 weeks prematurely. Without any hesitations, my children and I drove to Grand Forks to give them some support and to see with my own eyes this true miracle that God had created not knowing if this would be the first and last time I would see him.
Lucas had many trials to go through, especially his first few years, and I was thankful that John and Nikki both had their families close by. I don’t recall the day, the month, or even the year but I do recall the diagnosis – Lucas has cerebral palsy. Even though I didn’t jump in the car once again to embrace them with loving arms and encouragement, my prayers were with them at that moment as no one could predict what his physical or mental challenges would be. Only God would know all this, as Lucas was still so young.
When Lucas was only three years old, God gave my family a great gift – They were moving here and would live near us. Since then I have learned so much from him. Although he is labeled as a child with special needs, I feel like we are the people who are in need of these special children. He may be handicapped physically and uses a wheelchair, but how many of us are handicapped by our own selfishness and cold hearts by our lack of compassion and love for life?
Lucas has been blessed with many gifts and graces but even more so, he is a blessing to all who know him. He is filled with a faith and love for God beyond belief. Already he has heard the call to the vocation of the priesthood at his tender age of 10. He possesses more courage than anyone I have encountered and is not afraid to profess his faith and the truth to anyone. He is incredibly compassionate of others, probably because he has had many surgeries, and doesn’t like to see others suffer. He has more patience than I could ever imagine having, and is one of the most appreciative persons I have ever met. He constantly thanks the people who help him and will take every opportunity to visit with anyone. He genuinely loves people and will be sure to let you know how much he really does. How wonderful the world would be if we all could have virtues like this. Yes, on some occasions I have seen him feel sad about his disability but it is rare. He is very accepting of God’s will for him and knows that his prayers are powerful and his suffering redemptive. I know that he and his parents have a heavy cross, but God always brings people that will help carry it. I thank God and his parents for giving him life and allowing me to open my eyes wide open and see clearly the difference he has made. It is truly people like Lucas who help us on our journey. Each human being deserves the dignity and respect regardless of our capabilities. My own children remind me that Lucas is just like them and not to treat him differently. I reply “Yes, he is special just as each one of you are because we are all children of God.”