A few years back there was a CCO newsletter that had a profile entitled “Everybody Loves Stewart!” For those not in the know, Stewart Brown is one the most popular members of JPUSA. He is an amazing young man who can light up a room in a heartbeat. He’s energetic, enthusiastic, loving, caring…. and very interested in YOUR life and how you are feeling. He helps me constantly. He volunteers at CCO constantly. He will join in helping most anybody, most anytime. He’s told me so many times—“That’s my job! To help people!”
And isn’t that remarkable? Here’s a young man (in his late 20’s) who is considered mentally challenged by the world’s standards, and he just flows in and out of everyone’s life that he meets–with so much grace and ease that it’s scary… and everyone loves him for it. Thinking about him today… I had a revelation of why this is so. It’s because Stewart loves everybody!
You see, he’s blessed with so many natural gifts. He doesn’t have anything to prove. He’s not looking for any big applause. He just wants to be accepted and to feel a part of something bigger than himself. I guess that’s why he has no problem with meeting people and visiting so many different folks here at JPUSA. He’s so happy to be accepted and loved.. he just loves our community life. He has so many folks that he has befriended, that he is welcomed wherever he goes. He loves the action, the fun, the spontaneity that is offered by being surrounded by so many folks. And I have to admit that I love it —that he feels so close to so many folks at JPUSA, so that I don’t have to be the one who has to keep up with him all the time (again, he has a lot of energy).
But I am truly blessed to have Stewart in my life. He’s constantly reminding me —-by simply being himself— what’s really important. And I believe his presence does that to so many others who encounter him. He puts us at ease—loves us for who are—and we are then so moved to treat him with love and understanding. It’s a beautiful coming together of minds and spirits.
And it’s mostly initiated by Stewart, a man who would be considered “the least” in most folks minds. He’s teaching so many of us how to be friends, how to be so carefree, how to live in the moment. He’s teaching us how to love everybody, how to flow in and out each other’s lives with no big agendas. He’s a shining example of how community is supposed to work.
And for that, we can all be eternally grateful. May I (and all of us) continue to learn to love like Stewart. For as we do, we just might experience a little more of God than we’re used to.