A Little Girl’s Inspiring Legacy: Christina-Taylor Green
By Anna McKenzie
On behalf of Worthy Publishing
The People God Has Given Us
“Christina’s kindness and gentleness were apparent too, especially whenever she talked of Dallas. It was obvious they had a very special relationship.” – Kathie DeKnikker, Christina’s third grade teacher, As Good As She Imagined
We can pick our friends, but we can’t pick our families. And concerning the rest of society, while we have some degree of selection based on the environments we decide to be in, most of the time we end up around people who wouldn’t have made it through our personal screening process. Every now and then, that’s a good thing—some people whom we meet unexpectedly, or don’t like in the beginning, turn out to be much more valuable to us than we ever anticipated.
But all the people we interact with significantly, whether friends, family, neighbors, or members of our various communities, are people whom God has given us.
“Given” here really means “lended.” We borrow them. We’re stewards of them. For all the serious relationships we’re responsible for, someday God call us to account for how we treated these people He allowed us to borrow.
Christina-Taylor and her autistic brother Dallas were good stewards of each other. It would have been easy for them to acknowledge their differences and part ways relationally, being apathetic toward one another as some siblings unfortunately are. But rather, they cared for each other and became best friends.
Dallas probably wouldn’t have chosen Christina. His world seemed already too complicated with the oversaturation of sensations that he experienced because of autism. And for the very early part of Christina’s life, Dallas seemed not to even notice her. And Christina certainly may not have chosen Dallas—even regular older brothers can be obstreperous, but because of his condition, Dallas had to wrestle with life differently, and Christina could have ignored him like he seemed to ignore her at first. But they didn’t ignore each other. On some fundamental level, they recognized each other as allies and not enemies. They took responsibility for each other and developed a strong and healthy friendship.
Sometimes we don’t think about our relationships with people as being involved with our dealings with God. But it’s all very integral. We don’t sin against people; we sin against God. And when we love other people and treat them well, we are really being good stewards of God’s creation. We are accountable for how we respond to those whom He loves.
Christina and Dallas, consciously or not, had a healthy respect for loving each other in the way that Christ would want them to. It did not matter that they hadn’t chosen each other initially; what mattered was that God had given them each other, and the choice to love was presented to them. They took the opportunity, and became a good brother and sister, not to mention inseparable friends.
We might not feel we “owe” our friends and family anything, especially if they’ve treated us poorly. But we owe God a lot. It’s His love that allows us to love each other anyway. And if we let Him work in and through us, we might just find the extraordinary purpose in our relationships that we may have never known before.
This blog is about Christina’s life, and it is based on the book As Good As She Imagined, released January 3, 2012.
***To hear more about the Green family and their story, look for them in the January/February issue of Homecoming Magazine and in Significant Living Magazine in May. ***