This Epiphany, let your divine "aha!" be the realization that God loves you. And as you grow in the knowledge of that love, spread it around a little — not because it’ll make God love you more, but because the world needs it.
I share my story, not because I need to be heard, but because people still haven’t noticed how hard it is for some bodies to be in a church building, or participate in corporate worship services or activities.
Jesus came to introduce a new way to live. He invited us to demonstrate his way by practicing it in our own lives... Jesus’ way is more concerned with giving than receiving, humility than fame, and weakness than strength. He tells us that his provision and strength are enough for all of us. It was revolutionary at the first Christmas and it is still revolutionary today. Jesus tells us we’re all equal and introduces a way of life that stands in sharp contrast to the world around us. And frankly, I like it.
When God created He said “it is good”, not “it is useful”. God did not intend for us to label people for what they can do but to value people for who they are.
Receiving from Jesus means we understand he is inviting us into new rhythms of life that often demand we slow down and genuinely reflect upon what he is up to. In so doing, Jesus is actually revealing the gifts of our Christian discipleship- his kindness and gentleness.
In the four years since, I’ve had much to read, learn, and reflect upon. This new life God has given has challenged us on every front. From doing away with typical parenting milestones, to adopting wider and more expansive views of God’s grace and the beauty of his diverse people. Amidst all of this, my calling to pastor and minister continued. While learning this new life with its new language and new conversations, I’ve also had to continue to lead. At times that task has been beyond difficult and completely overwhelming.
Thank God for Brian, for my encounter with him and my continued relationships with people who are considered to be disabled. Brian is a whole person, with his likes and dislikes, his own personality and his own ways of contributing to the broader community.
My silence can be holy, if I feel The presence, and the touch, of those who care. A gentle hand, or word, makes joy more real, And griefs gain substance in a loving prayer.
In my endeavors to learn and be enriched, I cannot discount the experience I gain from being in relationship with others. I can acquire knowledge, capacity, and skills from academic study and reading and yet it has been when I have engaged in community and established friendships with people with exceptional needs that I have gained the most.
I have seen that shape before And now I find it troubles me. Those hands held in just that way. But I can't place the memory.