While the incarnation is a unique event in Christian theology, the experience of embodiment is not. I have found the image of the Word made flesh to be a powerful paradigm for seeing the experience of my minimally verbal children, both in their relationships with me and their expression of faith.
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.
Ultimately, though, the way forward [...] will be navigated in relationship with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities themselves. As Whole Community makes clear, it is people with lived experience who are experts on the best way forward. "The most powerful and effective act that people without disabilities can take is to yield to the voice of people with disabilities"
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.
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.
"I was born with cerebral palsy which makes it challenging for me to speak or use my arms and legs. ... It is difficult for me to express my thoughts and ideas to people who do not know me very well because many do not understand the way I talk or type. This takes patience and practice."
In today’s world, people with disabilities are largely ‘othered’, and there’s movement of self-advocacy afoot among them. There’s no telling what can happen when people unite across differences.