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The Body of Christ and #DisabilityInChurch

Conversing more on #disabilityinchurch has me pondering this section of  I Corinthians 12.  Do I believe this was put in the Bible specifically to address disabilities in church? No.  But the analogy here is poignant, and a corrective to a mindset that excludes our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

I know this is a rather long quote, but please read it. . .

 

 

 For the body is not one member, but many.

If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason [c]any the less a part of the body. 

If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be?

But now there are many members, but one body.  And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it.

But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,  so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

I Corinthians 12:14-26

 

 

One of the things which jumps out to me is, “the members of the body which seem to be weaker. . . which we deem less honorable. . .”  It is no surprise that both the broader culture and even within the church, those with disabilities are often deemed to be “lesser” or weaker people.  (Just consider the push for the abortion of babies with disabilities for a dramatic way this plays out in the broader culture.)

 

Yes, our brothers and sisters with disabilities may be weaker in some senses, and really do need our support (physically, emotionally, spiritually.)  “[I]f one member suffers, all members suffer with it. . .”  Can we share in their suffering? Or work to alleviate it?

 

At the same time, many of these same brothers and sisters are strong in the faith.  God has used their weakness for them to be strong in Him, as I’ve seen in many people in my life (especially older saints who have walked with the Lord for years.)  On the other hand, we shouldn’t assume that people are strong in the Lord simply because they have suffered — one person shared with me that people only saw her physical disability and neglected care for her soul.

 

Interestingly, this section of Scripture is just prior to the famous “love chapter” in the Bible.  Perhaps that is also a reminder of how to treat one another in the Body of Christ?

 

I don’t believe any one local manifestation of the Body of Christ is going to be able to remove all barriers, accommodate all people at all stages of life. But I do believe we can learn and grow and serve one another in Christ, especially those who God puts in our paths.

 

“[E]very career and calling has bad days, and you have to decide if you’re committed to this career and calling enough to endure those bad days.” -Ed Cyzewski, p. 66, “Write Without Crushing Your Soul”

Aside

Notes from Thanksgiving. . .

Easy Pie Dough Recipe | Serious Eats

This makes enough for two single-crust pies or one double crust pie. For a slightly more tender crust, replace up to 6 tablespoons of butter with vegetable shortening. Pie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before rolling and baking.

Source: Easy Pie Dough Recipe | Serious Eats

In Remembrance of Hana Williams

Hana Williams, Kidane Mehret

Hana Williams, 1997-2011

It’s been five years since the death of Hana (Alemu) Williams.

In the past five years, the media has not reported on any deaths linked to “To Train Up A Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl.

Still, I hear people recommending this resource to new parents — though more hush-hush than before.

We mourn.  Mourn the lives of Sean, Lydia, and Hana.  Mourn the children harmed by their parents, influenced by the Pearls.  Mourn for the lost innocence of the children and church alike.

I have posted little on the blog this year beyond mourning.  It’s been a hard year plus for our family.  Yet we are here, together. . . alive and loving. . . struggling and healing. . .

I’m thankful for that.

And still my heart is pulled to weep with those who weep, to remember those who are gone.

God, have mercy.

 

 

 

Cotton Candy Pink Clouds

A3 asked to go to the beach for sunset.

So my kid!

We couldn’t, but we did watch it from the balcony.

I don’t have an ocean view, but my bedroom balcony faces west and makes me happy. We all know I’m not an early bird!

Still, when I’m nursing the baby at 6:30 in the morning, I can see the reflections of the sunrise…

Blue skies, cotton candy pink clouds.

The Passing Storm 

   

 Tonight’s sunset… No beautiful colors, but glorious just the same. These grey clouds are the tail end of the storm Erika, which has downgraded to just a tropical depression. 
While we mourn the lives lost in the Dominican Republic, we rejoice that it brought needed rain and not devastation elsewhere. 
Tonight A3 and I were reading his “Jesus Storybook Bible” about when the wind and waves obeyed Jesus. Probably for the first time, A3 made a connection between a story we read and our life. “We p’ayed, and the sto’m passed us by!”
Not all storms of life pass us by… But Jesus is with us in the midst of them anyway. 

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Psalm 23, ESV

Today’s reading was Psalm 23.  (It’s June 23rd… see a pattern?)  I read it aloud to A2.  I’ve been meditating upon it, and humming the lullabye tune that goes along with it.

As my friend Anne said the other day, “I’ve been wanting to say something, but not sure what to say….. Something like, The psychology of being in a war is weird. … I haven’t anything much deeper to say at this point.”

We were on R&R (rest & recuperation) the past two weeks.  It was wonderful to have a family vacation.  It was needful to be away from Ukraine and the news.  And, yet. . . I felt guilty.  I have the privilege of R&R.  When my husband’s two-year tour here is complete, we’ll be moving on.  But my Ukrainian friends?  This is their life, their future.

The Lord is my Shepherd. . . He leads me. . .  

This is the truth for me and my Ukrainian friends, and I want to dwell in this reality moment by moment.