Below the Fold: Fearfully and wonderfully made, in Legoland
Below the Fold is where we lift up stories and make connections that are designed to help you start or engage in others in conversations that may not initially appear to be about God but where the introduction of eternal principles can change not only the conversation but the course of another person’s thinking and living.
If you aren’t a Lego fanatic like my nephew Larry, you might have missed the news that Lego has new minifigure in toy stores this summer.
Disability advocates celebrated this announcement. As Marc Stephenson, writing for The Christian Thinker noted:
Millions of kids in North America have service animals or use a variety of adaptive equipment, including wheelchairs, visual aids, hearing aids, canes or crutches. These kids don’t expect to play with toys that look like them and girls do not expect her favorite toys looks like little them. For a long time, mass marketing meant creating toys that would look like the broadest segment of the population — or like the aspirations of the broadest segment of the population.
Aspirational toys have been a very popular portion of the toy market. But it is really more than just toys. Our culture celebrates and lifts up the aspirational– the best athletes and students in the class.
But as Christians, this should not just be an “issue” we talk about. This cuts to the heart of our theology and worldview. Marc goes on:
Although we are all alike in that each of us is made in the image of God, each of us is also fearfully and wonderfully made in our own ways. Regarding disability and religion, John Swinton has written, “When we learn to see the holiness of even the most broken body, we act differently; we function generously and gently. We become people who can be trusted with the welfare of others.”
Kids interact with toys as a way of modeling and interpreting the real world. So what kind of world are we giving them? Who are we preparing them to be? What kinds of things are we showing them to value?
This story caught my eye because of my nephew Larry.
Larry — it is safe to say– is a Lego fanatic. He is also a cancer survivor. For several years, Larry could not travel too far from home, or his treatment. So he missed out on a lot of typical kid things like going to camp.
And when Make-a-Wish came to Larry, he wanted to use his “wish” to go see where Legos are made. Legos was a particularly important part of his life and his therapy.
We rejoice that Larry is now cancer free. We can also see how his heart has been changed as a result of walking through and fighting cancer. He is more gentle and sensitive to kids not like him. It’s impossible to know what Larry would have been like if he’d never had cancer, but the person he has become is extraordinary.
I am so thankful that Lego has created this new minifigure. It reminds me that kids are kids – with or without cancer, in or out of wheelchairs. And it reminds me to celebrate that each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made.