It is a weekday morning, and I am present, here in this beautiful place in this good company, and I am doing my job. These are not stolen moments, but given ones, gifts we have given to one another.
In my previous post I mentioned a man who recently died of COVID ... he was one of the first people I supported who did not use words to communicate, but clearly had much to say.
Because everyone experiences the loss. Everyone grieves. Whether you lived with the person, worked with the person, or knew them in passing, their departure leaves a hole in the community that is felt much farther than one might expect.
Every time someone dies we grieve. We mourn. We miss them. And then we move on. Because there’s someone else who needs that space, who needs that funding, who needs that support, who needs our focus.
One of the reasons I am especially grateful to writers and producers of The Chosen series is for their faithful portrayals of various Bible characters with different disabilities throughout the series, and for their insight into how some of Jesus’ disciples might have very well been people with disabilities. In so doing they show that people with disabilities do not need to be cured in order to follow Jesus or to serve him well.
The Chosen pilot episode conveys the truth that the presence of wounds or a disability does not preclude gaining godly wisdom. Rejection from a religious establishment or faith community does not preclude you from becoming close with Jesus. In fact, such hardships might just put you in the right place at the right time for a much more intimate encounter with the Lord.
Through this interaction I experienced the truth of wisdom offered by Canadian, Christian accessibility advocate, Judith Snow, who shared that everyone has two unique gifts: presence and difference. Through these, every person has the capacity to form half of a meaningful interaction with another person or people.
My favorite twenty minutes of each day is when I get to help John Michael eat. He can’t do it on his own, and even with help, he can’t do it quickly. It takes time and concentration on both of our parts. It’s a dance.
He didn’t seem to me to think that Moses’s challenges or limitations were worth focusing on. Instead, he emphasized their relationship. Since Aaron did not focus on his older brother’s challenges or limitations, he caused me to wonder, why should I?
Everywhere we go we are being called brother and sister, daughter and son, mother and father. Everywhere we go we are being called into relationship with the lonely and the forgotten, the sidelined and the left behind. Everywhere we go voices are calling us to be more than we ever thought we could be. May we all have the faith to call one another into the reverberations of the love of God, and to answer that call when it comes.