Night to Shine

by Chris Thomas
For the past six years, Tim Tebow has hosted an event called Night to Shine. It is a “Prom” for special needs adults, both young and old. This prom is held in 70 countries and in over 300 churches. The genuine love and dedication Tim Tebow has for special needs people is beautiful. His mission is to help us all realize that the life of every person on this earth is valuable.
For the past couple of years, I’ve been following the Tim Tebow Foundation on Facebook and I was always so moved by the pure joy on the faces of the “Kings and Queens” of the prom that I pledged to one day be a part of that tremendous event.
Well, this year I did. My middle granddaughter, a friend of most of us, Nathan Renoll and I participated as “dates” for the prom guests. All I can say is WOW! You can see the photos and videos of these events on the TTF Facebook page, but nothing compares to seeing in person the love, compassion and care that the over 300 volunteers at our local event showed each and every one of the guests as they were heralded in on a red carpet and then participated in a variety of events throughout the evening. The entire night was covered in the showering of God’s love. Those of us who have volunteered at the CABC Down Syndrome Camp understand and appreciate the effect special needs people have on us all.
To see the smiles, the laughter, the dancing, the uninhibited expressions on each face is so humbling. I looked at each guest (over 100 showed up!) and felt a little sad for the lives they have to live, but realized that they are living good lives. They are happy, protected and alive! It was the simplest treats that brought them the most joy. Joy. That’s the best word to describe the evening. And that’s their mission to us—to show and remind us to seek and to hold on to the amazing joy in our lives.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14)

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