Faith Today March/April 2013 (click here for the online issue) features three articles highlighting the topic of disability. I am excited that there has been a significant increase in theological research and writing, autobiographies, conferences, blogs and conversations in the Church on “What ought we do?”
We must be diligent that this is is not just a ‘fad’ or passing interest – but an awareness and a change that will become deeply embedded in the renewed interest in the missional movement of the Church. My concern remains that as this topic gains more support and credibility it has the danger of becoming professionalized and academic and so continues to exclude the very voices it professes to exist for. I deeply appreciate Faith Today’s focus and hope to encourage them to feature articles on this topic and to include people with disabilities in the conversations. This might be ‘nitpicky’, but one of the reasons that I encourage this holistic dialogue is one of the statements made appeared to suggest that those with disabilities exist in order that ‘we the non-disabled, ‘ might learn from them and have the opportunity to serve. I know this is well-intended, but the image of an ‘us’ and ‘them’ is one of the primary images that those with disability are seeking to dispel. This image can go so far as to keep people with disabilities on the outside of the conversation.
However, I want to thank Faith Today for highlighting the conversation and pray that this is a beginning to a deepening and maturing conversation rather than an end to one.