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UpBeat Spiritual Living: Compassion Flowing

July 21, 2012

© 2012 Kebba Buckley Button.  World Rights Reserved.

Sometimes, kindness seems unlimited.  With my husband napping in his comfy recliner beside me, I love to play “what’s that TV show about?” with the TV sound off.  I play randomosity with the channel changer.  I practice amateur lipreading.

Tonight, I landed “accidentally” on a show that was clearly a huge home makeover.  Oh yes, it turned out to be ABC’s Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition.  The couple featured have a toddler son and an older daughter, about 8, who has dwarfism.  A massive team rebuilt the family’s house with many visible and invisible accommodations for the little girl who will never be taller.  She will never be able to comfortably use a standard size bed or dining chair.  Perhaps her mommy will always be able to carry the girl on her hip, as tonight. It was exciting enough to see the beautiful new spaces, including rooms for the little girl and her brother.

But, coming in late on this episode, I had not seen the construction crew.  Wearing the usual bright blue EMHE t-shirts, and standing shoulder-to-shoulder, there were dozens and dozens of team members.  But there was something different this time.  The crew was about half people with dwarfism!  From children in arms, to short-armed moms checking reachability of the faucets, to the little grey-haired carpenter, congregation of radiant smiles, a community of caring.

Among the guests, I definitely saw Matt Roloff from TLC’s Little People, Big World, a TV show in which Matt and his wife, Amy, both little people, are raising a family of little and standard-height children on an Oregon farm.  Matt came from Oregon to attend this event.  Then I realized I was seeing Bill and Jen Arnold from TLC’s The Little Couple.  Jen is a physician, a neonatologist, and she is 32” tall.  Bill is a businessman and a tall 48”.  The Arnolds came from Texas for this event.

And there came a moment when, all at once, everyone started to tear up.  I think it started with Ty Pennington, the dashing carpenter and host, who normally is very composed, in a professionally enthusiastic kind of way.  As he was about to open the door of the new house, his heart overflowed into his eyes. Then the parents’ eyes began to flood, then the little girl’s.  She began to wipe her eyes with the back of her hand.  Now the cameras swept the crowd, and everyone was developing wet eyes.  Last to begin crying was the family’s toddler son.  I wonder if he suddenly understood that he was being given a new home, by a group of sponsors and contractors and volunteer workers with very big hearts.  I wondered if he was noticing that there were a lot of grownups, as well as children, with small bodies in the crowd.  Everyone’s heart was open.  Love was emanating everywhere. All were as one.

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) urges us to “Be kind and compassionate with each other.”  This crowd doesn’t need to be told.  They are busy embodying kindness and compassion.

To view the complete episode of the show described in this article:



● Rev. Kebba Buckley Button is the author of the 2012 book, Peace Within:  Your Peaceful Inner Core.

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