Erin’s life was so different from that of most 8-year-olds. While other kids were running and playing and eating ice cream, Erin was lying in a bed being fed through a tube—able to see only the brightest lights and hear only the loudest sounds. Her life consisted of needles and nurses and hospital visits as she battled ongoing illnesses and profound disabilities.

Surrounded by a remarkable family who cared for her with compassion and filled her life with love, Erin died before reaching her ninth birthday.

What can be learned from a precious child like Erin—one who never spoke a word or colored a picture or sang a song? A friend of Erin’s family put it best: “We are all better for having had Erin in our lives. She taught us compassion, unconditional love, and appreciation for the little things.”

Children such as Erin also remind us that this world is not reserved for the perfect, the wealthy, or the athletic. Each person, no matter their physical, mental, or emotional condition, is created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27) and is of equal value and significance. Our Lord has compassion for the weak, the broken, and all He has made (Ps. 145:8-9), and we should mirror that concern (Eph. 5:1-2). Is there an “Erin” in your life you can learn from?