Each Sunday, as I stand on our elevated platform, I look out at a couple hundred faces of various ages, different shades of color, and a diversity of expressions, all bidding me to speak on behalf of God.
But one face in particular captures my attention in a unique way every week. Her name is Jaakkina, and she sits in the balcony because of her autism. Her parents are intensely aware of her need to jump, dance, and wiggle throughout the service, so they sit up high among the few as an expression of love for their daughter and for the majority of their brothers and sisters below.
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