I cannot always come last because that isn’t showing true love. It may seem simple and obvious but I have struggled with this concept for a long time. When there’s a never-ending stream of crises, it can be hard to remember the necessity of putting yourself at the top of the list sometimes.
This week, I was in Niagara-on-the-Lake (“NOTL”) for some meetings. Everyone who heard I was going there said something like, "Oh, that's nice!" Why? Because if you've ever been, you know it's beautiful and charming. My response was something like, "Theoretically, yes, but it is February after all."
It was an accessible restaurant for a couple of years. Dion and I would occasionally go, entering through a door that was both wide and street-level. One day we arrived to notice that the door was locked. I went around to the other side of building to discover that they had reconfigured the space.
One day in November, I experienced Chris’ anticipation in full. We had arrived at a local mall. Walking in the door, at the end of a very long hallway we could see Santa’s giant decorative red chair set up in the centre of the atrium. Chris exclaimed “ho-ho!” and took off running toward Santa’s throne.
When I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis several years ago the biggest loss I experienced was my sense of self worth. I felt so broken that I couldn’t believe I was still loveable.
What relationships do you have with people who are not yet represented in the decision-making that you are a part of? What steps can you take to connect them with others who would support them in such roles or invite them to imagine themselves in these positions?
It has taken me a long time to even consider sharing the power and platforms I have been given with others who are marginalized. I find this hard because admittedly I am fearful of giving up my power and feeling powerless again.
Often, somebody that holds a lot of power or privilege of one type has an easier on-ramp to additional forms of privilege and power than somebody who does not. Thus, rather than being evenly distributed, power tends to accumulate. This is a symptom of our broken humanity rather than the values of the kingdom of God in action.
Last night I did what I do every night as the day winds down, I mentally went through my day and noted all the things I didn’t get done. The list was long. The tasks should have been easy. I felt like I had failed at life, and this was a familiar feeling because this is a familiar routine.
Crossing the threshold of being disabled myself has been such a privilege and a joy because it has transformed the way I can connect with people. Even if our diagnoses are wildly different, and our bodily experiences seem to have little in common, there’s still a deep understanding of what it is to live in a way that doesn’t always fit the systems of our world.