When Christine Rucker, Phoebe Zerwick and I started the “Story Of My Life” project a year or so ago, we did so with the words of the late Henri Nouwen sounding in our heads. Nouwen is a writer, scholar and priest who spent the later years of his life working with profoundly disabled people in a L’Arche community near Toronto. “What makes us human is not our mind but our heart,” Nouwen said, “it is not our ability to think but our ability to love.”
It’s been a challenge to present these stories in the rich fullness they deserve, because some of these folks don’t use words. Still, we hope that their spirits shine through photographs, and that the words of those who love them and care for them will convey some adequate sense of the meaning of their lives.
In James Loudermilk’s case, words aren’t really necessary. He has music.