My favorite twenty minutes of each day is when I get to help John Michael eat. He can’t do it on his own, and even with help, he can’t do it quickly. It takes time and concentration on both of our parts. It’s a dance.
Everywhere we go we are being called brother and sister, daughter and son, mother and father. Everywhere we go we are being called into relationship with the lonely and the forgotten, the sidelined and the left behind. Everywhere we go voices are calling us to be more than we ever thought we could be. May we all have the faith to call one another into the reverberations of the love of God, and to answer that call when it comes.
One of my fears is that we are losing the ability as a society to help someone who experiences a disability or is suffering in some way, because we are afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing.
Jesus instructed his disciples to “pack light” for their mission (Matthew 10:9-10). When it comes to the mission of supporting people who experience disabilities, there are a few transferable principles from this passage of scripture that we can apply.
This young girl's response not only shows that most people have the capacity to understand how to provide effective support to another person simply by observing and interacting with them thereby demystifying some of the potential challenges to supporting people with disabilities. The principle of watching and learning is also valuable when it comes to matters of faith.
I was born with physical disabilities and I became accustomed to having multiple physical examinations and assessments at a very young age. Furthermore, my ongoing need for assistance with personal care has made me consider the vulnerabilities inherent in such experiences as confirmation of support and well-being.
On Saturday, December 3rd (9:30 am - 10:30 am) or Thursday, December 8th (7:00 pm-8:00 pm), Plan to Protect will be offering an AODA training.
We are made for community, for connection and relationship. One thing we all share is the need for a sense of belonging. We need to know we are not alone.
As Christmas approaches and I prepare to celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ birth, I reflect on how the Saviour of` the world was once a tiny, vulnerable baby who depended on others for survival and remained vulnerable even as a man (Isaiah 53). Despite or perhaps because of His reliance on others, Jesus was called Emmanuel, "God with us".
Our Children's pastor lovingly and consistently tried to accommodate Michael year after year. She said to us at one point that not only was she concerned about Michael but believed that others would benefit from him being there as well.