“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Acknowledge God loves them

I was reading Watchman Nee today, and he makes this comment in relation to Revelation 3:7-10.

"The church needs leaders, but it also needs brothers. I believe in authority, but I believe also in brotherly love. In Philadelphia they respected authority, for they kept the Lord's word and did not deny his name. But philadelphia in Greek means 'brotherly kindness.' It was to these caring brothers and sisters that the door was opened. Let them set out to serve him together and not wait for the specialists; then we shall begin to see what the Church's service really is."

After the excuse of no money, the next most common excuse for a lack of involvement with persons with disability is "I don't have any training." But as Nee says, "serve him together and not wait for the specialists." This is not to demean specialists. I have dedicated my life to the training of special education specialists and there is much that such specialists can learn. However, don't confuse being a specialist with being a willing servant. No one is asking the average church member to develop behavior intervention plans, or teach adults with cognitive disaiblities to read, or how to develop language in those who have no language. But it is reasonable to expect them to carry on a conversation, to take someone out to lunch, etc.

In that passage in Revelation it also says, "I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars - I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you" (Rev 3:9). Now I am not saying that the church is the house of Satan or that people with disbilities are the ones about whom the Lord earliers says"I know that you have little strength," however, something about the statement "I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you" really resonates with me.

I met a man today who along with his wife is convinced that his church refused to put a birth announcement about his disabled child in the church bulletin because the child was disabled. Elsewhere in this blog I have spoken of other situations whereby persons with disabilities or their families were ostracized by churches or church members or pastors. Too often we treat persons with disability as if we believe God does not love them. By our words or actions we say to them, "God does not love you." But before the Lord has to put me in a position where I am made to fall at their feet and acknowledge that God loves them, I want to do it of my own accord as I believe that is the heart of God.


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