My Life and Faith: Maxwell Thomas Theis
Posted: October 12, 2016
Maxwell Theis, who will be Confirmed this month, lives with a disability. This is his "My Life and Faith" project, a requirement that all Confirmation students complete.
Translated and written by my loving momma, Andrea K. Theis
My words are spoken differently. My body works in different ways. I see things in a different light and my ears hear the most amazing sounds. Many of you would say my world is small. To me, it's quite the opposite. I am alive every day because of the people and things around me -- they react and create exciting things for me to feel and it has opened my world.
I learn differently. Even though I can't tell you in words that you might understand, I know what you are saying and I am learning. I know that God put me on this Earth to help others feel compassion for others; to have others see the world differently and to have others experience life differently.
My mom has told me "When I was born, the earth stood still. There was a moment in time where everything was perfect." When I think about what that means, it makes me smile. I know that I am loved. I didn't know anything was different. I didn't know that there would be a day where my doctor would tell my parents something went wrong during the creation of my brain. My brain didn't fully develop and that has meant a life full of "waiting" -- waiting for first words, first steps, first conversations, first bike rides, first soccer games and baseball games....well, you get the picture. While my milestones have been different, my family always included God in our journey. That stronghold of faith has helped to make sense of everything. I don't believe that God wanted to create just half of my brain. But I do believe that He made the best part of my brain so I can enjoy life and seek happiness all around me. I also believe He gave me all of the people in my life to help see the very best in myself so I can live and help give others joy.
Sunday school, Confirmation, VBS, and church have all been a big part of who I am. The music has always embraced me, fulfilled me, made me move. It has always spoken to me and helped to complete my story with "Why" I do the things I do. The music and the experience makes me alive. It makes my heart happy. I am grateful for everyone in my church family for the love and acceptance they have given and shown me. I attend church so I can see my friends and give them knuckles. It seems like a small piece to one's life, but to mine, it means the world.
So, what does the Bible verse that I chose for confirmation mean to me? This verse was introduced to me when I was three years old, back in February 2003 through the Veggie Tales movie "Jonah" and the message that spoke to me through the movie and the music. The verse is put to music in a song -- simply titled "Micah 6:8" and one that we would listen to over and over and over again (thanks to my mom and her purchase of the soundtrack)...and while this song was playing it was when I took my first steps (with the help of a borrowed purple walker) and I walked to the other side of the room to the arms of my brother and my dad. We were all excited, overjoyed and beside ourselves with the possibility and hope of what my future would be, could be. It was and still is, to "walk". To walk humbly. Always with my God.
Photos from 2003 courtesy Andrea Theis, Left to Right:
1) First independent steps - Dad and brother (Nate) waiting for him
2) Walking to open arms and Max's cheering section
3) Walking toward mom (behind the camera)