This article came to my attention recently. It’s called ‘Disability makes a church strong’ It’s a really really helpful and sensitive reminder. Those with disabilities and chronic illness can often wonder what we add to a church family and think our part is on the edges. Surely the strong and fit are those who play the main part, right?
Well, God says in His word:
“On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable” 1 Corinthians 12:22.
I know from knee operations years ago that the cruciate ligament is, well, crucial. It might look less glitzy than gorgeous hair or dazzling eyes or toned biceps. But without the ligament, it’s hard to get around. Overlooked but indispensable.
So apparently those churches without the visibly weak – the struck down, the depressed, the disabled – are actually deficient. So, in just being part of a church family, we are already being used. More than we can imagine.
I came across this 10 minute talk a few years ago but have come back to it recently.
Disability and the world around us can tell us lies; God always tells us truth. Here is a wonderful Christian sister, Krista Horning, teaching herself and us God’s truth to conquer the lies.
You can read a striking article here by Katherine Wolf about her experience of a stroke and her reflections, as a former beauty queen, on the beauty of brokenness.
I think she’s putting her finger on something that’s worth exploring. All humans experience brokenness as we live in this sin-broken world but we try to keep it hidden ‘backstage’ in our lives. The ‘front stage’ we present often looks pretty together.
Disability changes that. Suddenly we find that the front stage of our lives is visibly broken. We live with a public brokenness that others relate to us through.
Of course, that is harder in many ways.
Nonetheless, Katherine Wolf is saying there’s a strange freedom in that; we don’t have to pretend anymore. The front-stage brokenness and the back-stage brokenness can now be joined up and lived as a bit more of an integrated whole.
Not what we might have chosen, but it opens up the possibility of a strange freedom all the same.
Maybe we can be a blessing to others through this.
I found this article so helpful recently. We’re often told that we should ‘move on’ but a deep loss will always live with us and it’s somehow healing to be able to revisit the memories from time to time.