Hauerwas on the Mentally Disabled

I’ve been reading through Hauerwas’ memoirs, Hannah’s Child, and came upon this shattering passage:

What an experience it was for me to become part of the world of the mentally disabled. That world, as I suspect it should have, frightened me. I shall never forget the first time I was given a tour of the center [the Logan Center for schooling the mentally disabled]. A seven-year-old boy who had Down syndrome jumped in my arms and hugged me. He was too close, right in my face, and would not let go. I carried him as we continued the tour. I had to act like everything was just “fine,” but really I was terrified. I soon began to think that learning to live with the mentally disabled might be paradigmatic for learning what it might mean to face God. (112)