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?
I am having a bad day at the group home, the sort of day where I find myself drafting resignation letters in my head. There is too much to do, and not enough time. There is too much paperwork, and not enough relationship with the people the paperwork is meant to serve. There are too [...]
People with developmental disabilities, people like Sam, have taught me that each person matters. These days, we often forget about the one, about individual people – we are so distracted by all the things and the many people which call for our attention.
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.”
What if I told you that the Christian church has been silencing a prophetic presence in our midst?
There is a subtle panic in her eyes: she is trying to read me, trying to understand what it is I could want from her, but she picks up nothing at all from my best encouraging face.
During this season of forced and mutual deprivation, when our consolations are taken from us one by one and we are continually and graphically reminded of the mortality of our species, I turn to the men I support for wisdom and guidance.
These men, despite their depths of hard-won wisdom and delightful companionship, are well-accustomed to strangers keeping their distance in public places. The conditions we ironically bemoan on social media are barely distinguishable from how they have spent most of the days of their lives. They are old pros at quarantine, and they are teaching me.
Too often we fail to listen by forcing others into shallow cultural molds of what is socially acceptable. Instead, we must follow Christ’s example in welcoming those who are on the margins of society into the centre of community life.