Speak Life, a Christian organization in the United Kingdom, has released a video and script of a Christmas pageant performed by children with Down syndrome. The video features the mother of a young girl with Down syndrome who talks about how her faith helped change the way she saw her daughter and the possibilities for her life.
“He Came Down” shows the children dressed in their costumes as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, a donkey, and even a baby with Down syndrome as Jesus. There is also a narrator with Down syndrome who tells the story. Moments from the play are intertwined in the video with the mother sharing her experience.
“I know it’s no one’s fault. It’s no one’s fault someone is born with a disability,” she says. “But you still feel like, ‘but why did this happen to us?'”
The video shows the mother and her husband driving daughter Leeva to the pageant and we watch as the children take their places, each one of them showing their excitement and joy.
“I was overwhelmed with grief at the loss,” the mother remembers about learning of her daughter’s diagnosis. “I thought my beautiful baby has got Down syndrome and it’s such a disaster. God didn’t give me a straightforward answer of why this happened. It just took time for me to realize that God’s answer wasn’t so much what was wrong with Leeva as much as there was something wrong with the way I was thinking.”
The narrator of the play, a young woman with Down syndrome reads a line from the pageant that can touch the heart of any mother or father who has ever struggled with “why me?” and “why my child?” We often have a different plan than God does, and Mary did too.
“Mary was speechless. She didn’t know how these things could have happened but still she bowed,” says the young woman.
The mother goes on to talk about how she often thinks of Mary and of how she went through with God’s plan – the plan that wasn’t hers.
“She’s humble. She’s calm. She’s reassured by the fact that everything is going to be okay,” she explains.
She goes on to say that she now understands that God was with her the entire time, that he suffered with her, but that he gave her “the most beautiful child” and she didn’t need to grieve or feel sorry for her daughter.
“I thought she would lack. She’s not lacking,” she says.
The children in the video show the no matter what we think of people with disabilities – whether we pity them or feel that their lives aren’t fulfilling – their lives are worthy of living. God created them with purpose and promises, just as he did everyone else. Each person deserves a chance at life, no matter who holds preconceived notions, judgments or fears about them.