Joe's Table - A True Story: A Place Where Disabilities Become Gifts by Stephanie Chung
In JOE’S TABLE A PLACE WHERE DISABILITIES BECOME GIFTS, author Stephanie Chung relates the bittersweet story of her autistic son, Joseph. It was a real challenge for the entire family, but it was also a real learning experience.
The first part of the book tells the story of the author’s family, and how she met her husband. Peter was “a bachelor with an average salary who took a two-week vacation to find a wife in Korea.” Meeting at the church, Peter explained that “We don’t have a lot of time. Let me cut to the chase and ask you three questions.” Peter wanted to know if his future mate would share 1) His desire to honor God; 2) His yearning to make lots of money to support missionaries; and 3) A desire to have a big family: "When I get married, I’d like to have at least five childreWhat do you think about that?”
Well, Stephanie did indeed share his vision, and so did her mother:
“My mother’s firm belief that Peter was the one led me to marry him the following Thursday. . . Our marriage took place within a week.”
Raising Joseph was a tumultuous, tough journey. Along the way, the author learned more about the love of God, and how Joseph could actually be a missionary! She explains her discovery:
“Above all, in a world that does not willingly accept Jesus, it was incredible to discover how the Gospel bore fruit through Joseph, who could barely speak.”
Here's just one example: As a young man, Joseph especially enjoyed singing songs of praise. He especially loved the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s oratorio Messiah.
The family began a business called “Joe’s Table.” Table is really short for the Cross + ABLE. It really means Joseph is able to do everything through the power of the cross.
So all in all, I found JOE’S TABLE to be a tremendous tribute to the life of Joseph—but also a powerful lesson for us all. JOE’S TABLE tells the powerful story of how God’s love is available to us all—no matter what our ability. I thought this one testimonial really summed up the theme of this book, and the wonderful reaction of the author:
“I praise God for his abundant love, for being a Shepherd to all suffering children in the world.”
Bravo, Bravo! What a wondeful example for us all.