Judson's Legacy



There are certain people with whom you meet who have the ability to touch your life in just a few short moments with only a few words.  I had the privilege of interacting with one such individual recently.

A gentleman that has regularly been coming into “our” Starbucks the last couple weeks had caught my eye on multiple occasions.  In fact, he probably catches the eye of most people…he is severely disabled.  After seeing him a couple times I learned from one of the employees that his name is Bobby.  Bobby has significant gross motor disabilities and is unable to speak, but he still hobbles along and makes efforts to communicate; though one might on first impressions perceive otherwise, it quickly became apparent to me, after observing Bobby, that he was sharp and mentally astute.  Yet although Bobby stands out because of his disabilities, I began to realize that I was surprisingly drawn to him for another reason…

As I would watch Bobby struggle with each stride, listen to him communicate with grunts and gestures, and observe him interacting with others, he actually reminded me of Judson when Krabbe was ravaging my boy’s body.  But it was even more than the apparent similarities in some of their disabilities—Bobby’s smile, presence, and demeanor reminded me of my beloved son. 

While watching Bobby, I began to imagine Judson growing into adulthood with such disabilities and picturing how people might have mistreated him or misperceived him as mentally incompetent, incapable, and even sub-human… these images of Jud shattered my heart!  An intense compassion for Bobby rooted and began to grow with each thought that related him to my precious boy.

Each day I would see Bobby I would wave, smile, and greet him, Jessie might blow him a kiss or two, and then we each went our separate ways.  But every time my eyes met his smile, I was overcome with an uncommon heartache and love, uncharacteristically drawing me to this man.

So on Tuesday of this week I stopped to talk with Bobby.  Our conversation consisted of my saying a few things to him, and then he would gesture and make sounds in an effort to communicate back.  Sometimes I understood and sometimes I just nodded and smiled.  Then I suddenly felt strangely compelled to mention Jud.  I grabbed one of Jud’s website cards and as I handed it to my new friend, I briefly shared how we had lost our son to a disease that caused him to go mute (amongst other things), explaining that Bobby’s disabilities were close to my heart. 

The next thing I knew, I was in the consoling embrace of this shunned man.  He proceeded to indicate with his hands his empathy as he mimed tears on his face and his intentions to pray for us by putting his hands together in the traditional posture of prayer and then pointing to the heavens.  We chatted a little longer and then both went back to our seats in the coffee shop and continued what we had been doing previously.  About 10 minutes later Bobby walked by again and handed me this note:


Tears began to well in my eyes as I realized the compassion he was pouring upon me.  I invited him to sit down at my table and he began to share with me a little about his story by writing on napkins while also encouraging me with his written words.  I don’t know how else to explain it except to say that I felt like the Spirit of God was especially present with this man and it was a joy to be in his presence.

I had come into the coffee shop heavily burdened with deep sorrow that day, desperate to know that God loves me and is smiling upon our family even when we don’t necessarily see or feel it in our day-to-day experiences.  As I engaged Bobby in an effort to reach out, I quickly realized that he was the one ministering to me, and it was through Bobby that God chose to reveal himself to me that day.

God has a special place in his heart for the severely broken and I believe they often know the Father more deeply and intimately than the rest of us ever could (partly because they may not be hindered by their own self-reliance like the rest of us tend to be).  I experienced it with Jud and I see it in Bobby too.



14 Responses to "Bobby"

  1. Catherine Fenton says:

    Oh Christina…I love Bobby. What a treasure his friendship is. And that note! What a beautiful interaction – so glad that it buoyed your faith on a day when you felt you needed it.

    Lots of love,
    Cath (Carmen’s mom)

  2. Laura Koontz says:

    Thanks for sharing. It is amazing how God works the way He does. What an incredible experience for you!

  3. Allyson Stevenson says:

    Oh, the Lord shows Himself, His grace and His mercy in so many awe inspiring ways! How awesome that God used this precious man to brighten your day, with many more… hopefully to come!We love you guys,And are very happy for your newfound friendship! God Bless!

  4. Tracy says:

    this is a beautiful story christina! so touched my heart. xoxo

  5. amy white says:

    What a neat story you just shared Christina! You were so brave to talk to him and hug him as most people wouldn’t do that! Thanks for sharing this. It’s so awesome to see little examples like this which remind us that God is RIGHT HERE WITH US ALL THE TIME. Beatutifully written sistah!

  6. sabrina gavriilidis says:


    What a beautiful story. I am truely touched. I know Jud was definately smiling down on you that day. I’m sure he is so proud of his Mommy.


  7. Misti Dunlap says:

    Wow….. As I read…. I loved Bobby immediately…. then I saw the notes he wrote you. The tears came, in floods. What a precious person Bobby is. I can promise you, spirit wise…. your Jud would have grown to be much like Bobby. What a beautiful spirit.

  8. 58497 says:

    That was an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  9. Jean and Gary Butler says:

    Oh Christina~This is the most powerful writings of yours yet.There are so many "Bobby’s" in this world who need exactly what you gave your Bobby…time and love. May we all be humble servants of our God…..and reach out to the other Bobby’s all around us….there are so many. What a sweetheart you are….please give Bobby a hug for Gary and I.
    Jean and Gary

  10. Amanda says:

    My mother has always worked around people like this being a nurse in a nursing home. The people that lived there were closer to me then family at times. I understand completely how you talk about him. My uncle jon lost his ability to speak before he died a few months ago but i understood his love for God more from him then in people who could verbalize it. I am glad that i found your website. This week was the anniversary of my nephews death. He would have been 3. Reading your blog has helped me to deal with parts of it that i have not let come to light in my heart completely. Thank you so much for allowing your weakness and strength in God to be a blessing in my life.

  11. rhemashope says:

    What a beautiful and touching story. Thank you. Thank God – He sees you and loves you. I know He is blessed with how you honor Him with your life in the midst of your grief.

  12. Debra says:

    I found your site on CWO and your story has touched my heart in so many ways.

    Loving Prayers,


  13. kit says:

    Christina- i met you at Grace church a while back and have been following your journey for a long time.
    i just have to comment on this entry. i am away on a ski trip with friends and friends of friends – 2 of whom have daclared they "are not very spiritual." today’s entry touched me to tears (as they often do) so i read it aloud to the group (choking through it). i have been praying a watching for an opportunity to share my faith w/o coming off "holier…" well, this did it – just enough to show that our God is a loving, compassionate God.
    his love is so evident in your words, Kit

  14. Liz says:

    This brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for sharing!

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