As part of his keynote address Tom played the keyboard and encouraged audience participation to demonstrate some of the blues techniques he used as metaphor. This image shows a piano keyboard lit with blue light.

Like Jazz musicians, church leaders need to become masterful at holding tension and refrain from resolving it prematurely. Rather than encouraging others to strictly preach victory in Jesus, perhaps we need to make space for people to find their own voices and speak their hurts or cry out to God.  Read More →

Chantal is waving a ribbon attached to a stick. She is wearing a bright blue tank top and an orange patterned skirt. She is sitting in her orange wheelchair and smiling at the camera.

The therapeutic response to chronic illness or disability is usually rest and pacing. However we live in a society where that is increasingly discouraged, if not impossible. Most people’s temptation is to change their circumstances or to find solutions quickly, rather than trust that God will provide what is needed. Instead, Mary conveys a sense of peace from the beginning.  It is this sense of peace which comes from God, and trusting in God, that I think empowered Mary and can also empower us to respond to whatever we face thoughtfully and prayerfully. Read More →

An empty MRI machine sits in a vacant room. It is large, the lights are dim, and the scene feels eerie.

The technicians had very kindly broken the rules and allowed me to stay with him in the room, but I was still outside of the tube. I had the freedom of my limbs. The noises the machine made were not inches from my ears. I called encouraging words to him inside the tube, but they were just more sounds. So I did the only thing I could think to do. … Read More →

Wentworth Miller says when you’re in survival mode, there isn’t space for “we” or “community.” It becomes all about “I” and “me.” He is not relating specifically to the challenges of disability, or faith communities fostering , but he shares valuable information about the challenges that may arise if you feel singular, different, and alone; if you have to spend the majority of your days in survival mode over the long term. Read More →

Movie poster for Encanto shows the Madrigal family standing in front of their enchanted home. Text reads "There's a little magic in all of us ...almost all of us. Disney Encanto"

Mirabel Madrigal does not have a visible disability but many people with disabilities may relate to her in some ways. […] The Madrigal family initially characterizes Mirabel as “unexceptional,” and “not special.” […] people with disabilities are often characterized in opposite terminology, being referred to as “special” or “exceptional.” However, the premise of the distinction is similar Read More →