Friday, August 26, 2011


                Grady and Max were cousins, born to sisters, only two weeks apart.  They were two peas in a pod - at first.  Their mothers, both single, lived together in a tiny, ramshackle house on the edge of a small town.  The women had shared pregnancy symptoms and then similar labors.  The boys both had their mothers white blonde hair and green eyes.  They shared not only a room, but a crib for the first six months of their lives.  When they learned to jabber, they would jabber at each other and people were constantly asking if they were twins, not knowing whose mother was whose.  They got along like brothers, but did not fight like brothers. If one wanted, a toy, the other, was always willing to share.  Tantrums were rare and it was a peaceful household.  Maybe too peaceful.  By two, certain signs began to illuminate a major difference in the boys, but nothing was spoken of that which would soon become obvious.  These boys were quiet, not much for rumble tumble play, and were stuck to each other like glue, speaking to each other in some sort of code that not even their mothers were able to decipher.
                When they entered kindergarten it was only one month into the school year and both sisters were summoned separately for a meeting with the teacher.  The teacher spoke to Grady’s mother, of how impressed she was with this boy, said that he showed outstanding potential and in her humble opinion, should be moved immediately to the first grade - of course after some testing.  The teacher then, at a later time, sat down Max’s mother.  She said he was very sweet, he seemed to want to learn but that in her humble opinion, he should not yet be in kindergarten - of course, they could decide this after further testing. 
                Max was soon after placed into special education classes and Grady, sad to leave Max behind, went on to the first grade.  Max was diagnosed with mental retardation and by fourth grade, Grady had been administered IQ tests, which marked him at a genius level.  He was placed in certain high school classes by the sixth grade, while Max could barely read.  And yet, the two felt no division, or rather, allowed no division to separate them.  After school, they would spend time together, doing normal boy things. They’d work on tree houses or science projects.  Grady seemed to be the gentle leader of the two, and yet what no one understood was that Grady felt more challenged and more stimulated when with his cousin that with anyone at his school, even those in the accelerated classes.  Grady felt a strange commonality with Max that went beyond blood.  The sisters would stay up talking late into the night, both worrying that Grady may be spending too much time with Max, not wanting him to be held back in any way.  But they didn’t quite feel it right to discourage the relationship, either. 
                The boys went down different paths, but continued their brotherly bond.  Although, Grady graduated high school early before Max had even learned to write his name and went to college a couple of towns away, he came back every weekend to spend time with his family.  He was serious about his work but lacked a social life.  He poured most all of himself into his studies.  His special interest was in mathematics, which he found captivating.  He had always had the ability to solve complex problems in a short period of time but by the end of his freshman year at college, had proved a theorem, which propelled him into honor and recognition in the academic realm.  He had a bright future ahead of him. While he was busy performing extensive theoretical research in Algebraic Number Theory, he was being courted by Harvard, Princeton and Duke.  But something was missing
                One visit home from college, he was introduced to something far more captivating than numbers.  Max had been attending church with an old woman from down the street, and had come to know and accept the Lord.  He was anxious to share his salvation with his cousin.  Somehow Grady knew, if his cousin, who did not seem to have a sin bone in his body, was in need of a savior, how much more was he.  He was led in the sinner’s prayer that night by his cousin Max, who had the intelligence of a five year old.  When Grady returned to college, he joined a Bible study and became passionate for Jesus.  When he would come home, he and Max would talk in their way, about God and Grady somehow knew that their level of understanding on this was the same.   One of them brilliant by the world’s standards, the other clearly not, yet both equally hungry to understand their new Father’s mysterious ways. 
                People thought Max strange because he was not intelligent enough to connect with others.  They thought Grady strange because he was so intelligent that he neither could connect with others.  But they were connected together by the Lord and then drawn to Him as co-heirs and as brothers.  

On a side note:  Kristin Lamb wrote a great article, which had me laughing out loud.  It's called "Top Ten Reasons To Become a Writer.  I think my favorite was number 10.  Has anyone read her book, Are You There Blog, It's Me Writer?  I have not yet, but intend to.   

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