Jesus removed a barrier and helped someone ignored to be heard. Jesus challenged societal and religious (gasp!) practices and expectations that kept people like this man in poverty and on the outside. Jesus helped a man who was blind to take a step toward community.
80% of the world’s citizens who experience disabilities, people like Hiwot, live in developing countries. One person in seven has a disability here at home. My small sacrifice of removing one thing from my life (frankly, an unhealthy practice anyway) in order to turn my attention outward and upward on their behalf …well, it seems to make some sense.
This Epiphany, let your divine "aha!" be the realization that God loves you. And as you grow in the knowledge of that love, spread it around a little — not because it’ll make God love you more, but because the world needs it.
Jesus came to introduce a new way to live. He invited us to demonstrate his way by practicing it in our own lives... Jesus’ way is more concerned with giving than receiving, humility than fame, and weakness than strength. He tells us that his provision and strength are enough for all of us. It was revolutionary at the first Christmas and it is still revolutionary today. Jesus tells us we’re all equal and introduces a way of life that stands in sharp contrast to the world around us. And frankly, I like it.
Are we deliberate in our own lives to welcome someone with a disability to our table? Are we careful to recognize that person by their name, who they are, rather than their disability?
At face value, Jesus was engaged in the supernatural and people were being healed. Having worked with people with disabilities for two decades and now working with people in extreme poverty in under-resourced countries, I have been blessed to have a new lens through which to see this story. These people healed by Jesus had no hope. Their poverty and disability, in his day, relegated them to begging outside the city. Being healed enabled them to be known again in the general population. Healing brought them back to community.