“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-6
The imagination of God is boundless. The manifold splendor of creation speaks of endless possibilities. We serve a creative God and, as such, there are innumerable ways for us to serve. This creative abundance often erupts in inspiring ways when we set out in love to serve even just one. The story of the Hartman family captures this truth beautifully.
Gordon, Maggie, and their daughter Morgan were on vacation in the summer of 2005. While watching their daughter, Gordon noticed that other kids were hesitant to interact with Morgan because of her disability. He was convinced that his daughter’s experience was not unique. In that moment he pledged to create a fun place that equally served those with and without disabilities.
To pursue this promise, he sold his companies to start the Gordon Hartman Family Organization. His organization serves families with children who have special needs and it is through this organization that Morgan’s Wonderland was born in 2010.
Morgan’s Wonderland is a theme park in San Antonio that is designed for individuals with special-needs and welcomes everyone. The park became a hit and in just a few years expanded to include over 25 attractions focused on inclusion, interaction, and fun. The park has a number of features meant to provide a “safe, clean and beautiful environment free of physical and economic barriers so that all individuals – regardless of age, special need or disability – can come to and enjoy.”
Jillian Benfield, mother and writer, shared her experience of visiting the park with her children saying, “Today, I’m pretty sure I saw a snapshot of what that looks like. A place where no one is made to feel less, a place where we see disability as an integral part of who someone is instead of being viewed as something someone has. A place where all are welcome and celebrated for coming exactly as they are.”
Serving others from a heart centered on love throws wide the storehouses of heaven. Serving from a place of love does not condemn us to drudgery; it inspires us dream. Serving from a place of love activates the creative gifts given us by the Holy Spirit.
“Creative God, inspire our imagination so that we might serve one person today with gifts of joy, color, and life. Amen”