Supporting a person with a developmental disability to grieve is not a matter of coming alongside, but of remaining where we already were.
It is a long and slow process for me, a well-educated and nondisabled white male, to appreciate and to pay attention to the ways that God is working on the margins. But whether it is in pausing my frantic productivity to gaze for a moment at crisp pin-points of light in the night sky or in turning my attention to a neighbour who does not use words to communicate, I am “Learning how to say ‘Hallelujah’ from the ones who say it right.”
God’s order is not our own, and the upside-down Kingdom is often led by those whom we might prefer to ignore or condemn. “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” the Pharisees demand. I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Pay close enough attention, he instructs, and if we’re quiet we will hear even the voice of these silent rocks.
I want everyone to have the experience that I had that day – to be in a space where there is true love and acceptance for each member. Where people show up with their whole, unedited selves and are embraced.
As we welcome the new year, we're pleased to share this poem by Mike Bonikowsky.
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.