Who Holds your Key?: Weekly Message for 02-21-2023

Dear Friends,

My older brother was born with Down’s Syndrome. I could fill volumes with Michael’s antics and the little lessons he taught me over his nearly 60 years of life, but I would like to share just one. Some years past, an uncle suffered a stroke, and there was a concern he might not survive. Michael had experienced family funerals, so the matter’s seriousness did not escape him. My parents brought him to my house for “sister time” on their way to the hospital.

At one point in this visit, he crooked his finger at me to follow him. He said, “Come into my office.” I chuckled to myself as “his office” was really my office. He shut the door, led me to a chair, and told me to “sit.” He then sat next to me, leaned forward to look at me with tears filling his eyes, and said, “My mom told me that when I die, Jesus is going to take me to heaven.” Getting choked up myself, I said, “That is right, Mike. And there will be such a party that day when all the angels and saints are singing and dancing.” Michael loves many things, but parties and dancing are among his favorites.

By now, tears are streaming down his face, and he leans forward even more to ask, “But how is he going to get me out of that box (casket)?” With my heart aching for his anxiety, I answered, “Oh, Michael, Jesus has the key.” In an instant, his face was swallowed by a smile that stretched from ear to ear. He said, “OK,” stood up, wiped his face on his shirt sleeve, and walked back to his Star Wars movie, completely at peace. I sat there and thought, “Oh, Donna, Ye of little faith.” No matter how challenging life’s situations are, Jesus holds the key. It really is that simple.

My brother was born with imperfect physical abilities, and imperfect cognitive abilities—but he possesses perfect faith. I pray everyone who reads this reflection can be blessed with faith like Mike.

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary,
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 40:28-31


Yours in the Heart of Jesus,

Donna Garrett

NOTE: Donna’s brother, Michael, passed away on February 15, 2023.

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  1. Dear Donna,
    My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved brother. I am praying for his soul and comfort and healing for you and all who loved him.
    Many blessings of Jesus and Mary to you today,

  2. Dear Donna,
    I am so sorry to hear of your great loss. Our son Michael has Down Syndrome too. His faith and kindness are an ever present example for me. When he prays I feel the presence of God. If someone asks him to pray for them, he remembers and prays for them forever! Please know that our family will pray for you during this very sad time.

  3. I believe that our brothers and sisters who have lived with life’s “challenges” are among the most exalted in heaven. Rejoice his name is written in heaven! What a gift you were to one another!

  4. Dear Donna,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. How blessed Mike was with his pure faith and his great family. I’m just returning home from a visit to my sister who has dementia— so some similarities to Mike’s challenges. I saw how all her friends were so eager to show her so much love— her presence seemed to bring out the best in others. I’m sure Mike was the same for those around him. May you & your family be consoled in your loss & assurd of his place in heaven since we know Jesus has the key.
    In Christ,

  5. Thanks for sharing this story of pure faith.
    I am so sorry for your loss and pray blessings upon you and your family.
    May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

  6. Dear Donna,
    I am so sorry for your loss.. What comfort and peace you brought your brother.. what peace and comfort you brought me. Jesus has the key!
    Thank you and blessings of peace and comfort.

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