I’ve got a big pet peeve. Many of them really, but the one I’m bugged by right now focuses on a Bible study guide I’m doing. The author has used at least three times “disabling us” or “disabled me”. She’s talking about circumstances or things that make us disabled but, in my opinion, she’s using it all wrong. It’s the context and the tone. She is talking about what to do to avoid this. To avoid disability. To work around it and fix it. Not to embrace it.
But didn’t Jesus Himself choose to be disabled by coming to earth as a baby? After all, He was in heaven with His Father and came here for us. He became human and took on all the frailties of humanity. To live a perfect life and save us. Yes, he was somehow 100% person and 100% God. I won’t even try to explain that tough one.
When He was here on earth He took special time to have compassion on those who had disabilities. He didn’t shun them or blow them off like the Jewish culture did.
Yes, this is personal. My nine-year old son, Luke, has autism and is non-verbal. Am I supposed to not love him just how he is—because he has a disability? God made Him and each of His children are made in His image. My nephew Teddy, who has autism–wonderful and hilarious. My feisty friends, Brandon and Timothy Clark who have Angelman Syndrome—made in God’s image and lovely. Luke and Noah Shafer who have autism–made by God’s hand. Joey Marino, who has cerebral palsy—gorgeous. Beautiful. So many others I know.
God’s word says through our weaknesses, yes our disabilities (and we’ve all got ‘em) that HIS STRENGTH shines through. He uses them for His glory. But oh how counter cultural that is. WE MUST HIDE our weaknesses and show how much we have it all together. Even in the church. But that’s not what Christ wants. He wants us to come to Him openly and not hide our sin. We are supposed to also confess our sins to one another. God’s glory is shown in this way. Not by avoiding brokenness or denying it but by embracing it.
Lord, change our hearts. Help us to be real and authentic. Help us to embrace those with special needs and love them just how they are.