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.
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.
I felt the presence of God so much more at the Family Retreat than I had anywhere else in recent years. Seeing so many people of all abilities joining together to make a joyful noise was a powerful experience. The love for God in that room was so strong that it was almost overwhelming. It felt like a preview of heaven.
The theme of the Christian Horizons Family Retreats this summer is Nehemiah 8:10 which says, "… For the Joy of the Lord is my strength." I find this verse particularly valuable at the intersection of faith and disability. First, how can people affected by disability live with "joy?” My joy comes from the Lord’s joy [...]
There God's presence was vivid to me because each of us was worshiping in spirit and truth, according to our abilities which He created.