For the past four years, I've had the joy of becoming close friends with a young man who is blessed with the gift of autism. Rain or shine, Jer-Bear is always happy, and he has a thousand reasons to celebrate each new morning.
Whenever I am feeling discouraged, lonely, or hopeless, I pick up Jeremiah and we drive into the city of Asheville. He has a fascination with matchbox cars, so you'll find him holding at least one car in his right hand, and several more stuffed in each pocket. Although he lives out in the far-out country, he prefers that we listen to Gangsta Rap, and he admits that he rolls like a true gangsta from Madison County!
Last month he received an award at the Salvation Army in Asheville, for his years of dedication and volunteer service in the name of love. He was so proud to sit at the award table, and I was so proud to sit beside my good friend.