Just over a week ago I had opportunity to be reunited with my good buddy Andrew Banar. Andrew, (in the words of his webpage www.grouphugapparel.com) “is 20 yrs old, and although he was born with Down Syndrome and has been challenged with many of the associated health issues, Andrew has always been happy and has lived life to its fullest. He is fearless and pursues interests and hobbies with excitement and dedication and he’s a great source of inspiration and love for his large circle of extended family & friends.”
Three years ago, with the help of his mom Karen, Andrew designed a ‘Rock On” logo for a Tshirt. Since then, he has helped many charities in SouthWestern Ontario with the sale of those Tshirts. At this point his donations to children’s charities total of $11 000. He is a gem! You simply cannot be with Andrew and not feel loved and see God and how powerfully God is at work in the life of this great servant.
When I first met Andrew I wrote a blog about my experience you can read it here – I Met a Hero. At that time I added this quote from Christopher Reeve:
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
Andrew really lives this well. Being with him for lunch last Friday was a reminder of how very powerfully God can show us what we might do through people like Andrew who overcome so much to make a difference. It is what Incarnational theology is all about. In a few days we will celebrate Christmas – the Incarnation – God with us! God choose to dwell among us in vulnerability, in weakness, in rejection, and in a communion in exile. The story that we celebrate is lived out again and again. God still chooses to come and dwell among us. When I am in communion with Andrew I see God with us. In the midst of vulnerability I see incredible strength.
Are we are that God is one with us? Can we see how God might be at work in our lives? Are we bale to harness the Love what has been supplanted in us overcome the obstacles in our lives to not just persevere, but to be Light to others as Andrew does so well?
You can help Andrew in his quest to make a difference by wearing his shirts and jackets etc. His logo is a strong and powerful one – a reminder that we can push through plenty and still be a effective presence. Who needs to be wearing corporate logos when we can wear an image that reminds us of whose Image we have been created in? Visit his webpage and order your garment today!
See the rest of the photos of Andrew’s Visit to London can be viewed on his blog … http://grouphugapparel.com/london-sick-kids-hospital/