First - The author points out that there are three views to disability. Which one do you have? Has that changed at all after knowing someone (actually being close to someone rather than just seeing people at a distance) with a disability? Now be honest with yourself! I defantly held the first view. I felt bad and sorry that it happened I felt as though they have "problems" I still am working at countering this view with the Biblical view.
- The Historical View: Disability is an Abnormal part of Life in a Normal Wworld. This is the view that something is "wrong" with the person or that they have a "problem". It is the view that in history, and even in our liberated world today, causes people with disabilities to be shunned and avoided and mourned over.
- The Post Modern View: Disability is a Normal part of life in a Normal world. This is the view held by those who are afraid of offending. They want to encourage "celebrating" disability. When I read this the first thoughts that came into my mind is that they are ignorant and that they are offensive. I have YET to have anyone come to me and say they are jealous that Dillon was born to me instead of them because they so desired a child with disabilities. No one ever goes out seeking a disability for themselves. It is ludicrous and absurd that anyone would want to celebrate disability.
- The Biblical View: Disability is a Normal part of life in an Abnormal world. Did you get that? Only the Biblical view sees our world as the "abnormal". Our world is stricken by the fall - there are consequences of the sin. Everyone suffers from physical and spiritual difficulties because of the fall. A person with a disability is just has the physical/mental consequences more evident in their life. They often have a much better spiritual understand because of this, though. They are not to be shunned but don't try to celebrate it either. When I read this I thought of celebrating cancer or soldiers dying in a war. Those are not to be celebrated - they are to be understood as normal life in our abnormal world.
These thoughts really hit home to me. Do I look at Dillon as though he should be shunned? Not really - but I think I honestly feel as though he WILL be in his life. Most people in our world don't have the Biblical view on this (especially not when most Christian don't - myself included). They don't see every individual as an expression of God's glory. I know I don't always look at a person and say "Wow, God created that person - how wonderful!"
The next thought that really hit me was about relentlessness. Now every family will experience this, but for the families of a disabled person it come so much more often. Simple every day tasks are so relentless that I won't even get into that right now since this post will be long enough but I think you can imagine. But what about our response to the relentlessness? She used Joseph's life as an example in this. There are three reactions possible:
- The Victim Mentality - the world owes me, I can't believe this is happening to me, etc. If Joseph would have had this he would have cursed God, gotten depressed, and died with a meaningless life.
- The "I will beat this" Attitude - This is where you view disability as cancer - something that can be beat. You believe you will overcome it not matter what it takes to do that. If Joseph would have had this he would have given in to temptation and then broke out of jail with the help of the baker and cup bearer gone and killed Pharaoh and then killed his brothers.
- Engage Reality with a God-Reliant Perspective - This sis where you accept whatever life gives you because you are God-focused not difficulty-focused. This is the only view that keeps God as the center of your life. The other two allow you to make your whole life about the problems. It is putting your circumstance on the throne in your heart instead of God. He allowed these things to happen, surely we can look to Him while going thru it all.
Okay that's enough for now - but there will be more coming so look for the posts titled "Same lake Different Boat" (By the way that means that people without disabilities are not in a different lake as though with it - nor are they in the same boat...they are in the same lake but a different boat. As a church we are even closer - we are the same body different parts....see the parallel?)