The question comes from an article I read a while ago. It covers both sides. You can read it here.
It’s a striking way of putting it and addresses one of two potential pitfalls in disability.
The first pitfall is that we don’t let others help us. We become too proud and exist in a cocoon of self-reliance; we can set ourselves up as ‘us against the world’. That denies others the blessing of serving us and us of learning to receive.
But we can fall off the horse the other way too if we don’t consider how we can bless others. Romans 13:8 says: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” That is true for every believer who knows the way that Christ has served us.
That is the pitfall this article is addressing. Read it, weigh it, pray over it and ask for the mindset change we need from the Lord. Sometimes that will feel like a battle but it’s not beyond our gracious heavenly Father.
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.