Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  – Matthew 5:8

When we refer to someone as being “unfiltered,” the reference usually has a negative connotation.  I recently made new friends who live “unfiltered” in a beautiful way.

My new friends are a group of young ladies who are differently abled compared to most in their lives due to Downs Syndrome and a brain defect.

Upon first impressions,  I was aware of their physical differences and what I  perceived as being limitations.  Now that we have become friends, I am not so much aware of their so-called disabilities and outer beings, as I am awed by their  specially abled hearts and  inner beings.

Our friendships began through my attempts to learn their names and greet them when our paths crossed.  One day,  as I  walked by saying a quick, “Hello,” one of the girls reached out to me, warmly put her hand on my arm, gazed into my eyes, and kindly asked if I’d like to have lunch with them.  What a sweet invitation!  The next day, I did just that.  That’s when they welcomed me as their new friend.

What I’ve come to love about these special young ladies, is that they live unfiltered.   They have no spite, jealousy,  hard-heartedness, or personal agendas of any kind.  They look out for each other and tend to each other’s needs, having no awareness of  crossing the social boundaries caused by all the “correctness” factors of our current culture.  What is most touching, is that their words and gestures of kindness are genuine, coming from pure hearts.

When we first started becoming friends, I hoped that I could be a blessing to them; but as it turns out, they’ve been special blessings to me.

When I think of my  friends, I think of  the words of 1 Peter 4:8.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.   

These young ladies show me what it looks like to  have pure hearts imprinted by God’s truth.  My friends teach me, by their example, how beautiful it is show genuine sisterly  (brotherly) love; and most importantly,  they do what the last part of that verse says.  Paraphrased, the last phrase of 1 Peter 4:8 instructs us to not just love others, but love like we mean it.  That’s what my special friends do every day – with each other and all who are blessed to  spend time with them.

They are differently abled, for they live “unfiltered” in a beautiful way.  If anyone has disabilities, it is me.  I am hindered by the filters of my heart and the unfiltered words and actions that come from impure places of my heart.

Lord, please help me  live like my special friends, whose pure hearts and unfiltered ways must surely be a blessing to You, as well.  Amen.