This is not the love of romance stories or Hollywood endings. This is the kind of love that brings you to the end of yourself and then beyond. The kind of love that takes all you’ve got during the day and keeps you up at night. Real. Costly. Love.
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.”
Thanks to the example of Joni Eareckson Tada I knew that God could do great things through people with disabilities, but for the first 20 years of my life I wanted little to do with disability. Despite my need for a power wheelchair, limited fine motor skills and significant visual impairment, I wanted to lead a "normal" life as far away from disability as possible.
We can look forward to Jesus returning and the glory of the Lord being revealed when the playing field is leveled for the oppressed. Then all people will have equal opportunity to serve God and enjoy the abundant life that He offers. Removing a barrier is not just about helping someone else to enjoy full participation: it is about demonstrating how God loves all people and wants everyone to live life to the fullest.
On the Road to Emmaus, Jesus’ strategy is to walk alongside the followers for a long while, allowing them to tell their whole story. Similarly, matching the pace of someone else and demonstrating that we are truly listening, even though it may be hard to relate is a way to show that they are valued.
(In short, you should come and serve at Christian Horizons Family Camp with people who experience disabilities! You can learn more and apply here: www.christian-horizons.org/familycamp) Jim and son Steven enjoy tubing at the 2017 Christian Horizons Family Camp A Christian Horizons Family Camp Poem By Chantal Huinink Dreams can come true, eh? Christian Horizons [...]