Trust in the Lord with all your heart, don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowlege him and he'll make your paths straight.Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Oliver (1990) states,
They also see themselves as pitiful because they are socialized into accepting disability as a tragedy personal to themselves.
There is a disconnect between the ideas presented above, at least there is for the Christian.
In all our life circumstances we are encouraged to trust in the Lord, because He can be trusted. He loves us and has a plan for our futures. However, disability seems to totally throw us into a tizzy. We loose our balance. We, due to our socialization, accept disability as a tragedy. Now clearly tragedy enters the lives of people. I just wonder sometimes about disability, as tragedy. Does tragedy happen which causes disability? Of course. There are car accidents, and violence against people. But for the moment, lets consider congenital disability. That is disability that people are born with. I am not naive enough to say that life with a child with a disability is always easy or even mostly easy. I just wonder about how I think about disability when the Bible which I claim to base my life upon tells me things like the above. I also wonder to what degree the socialization of disability as tragedy is reflected in the life of the Church which claims to be built upon those same verses listed above?
Disability brings challenges. We have translated challenges into tragedy. Because we have done that, they truly do become tragedy. Because the Church has not stepped forward to support all members, including persons experiencing disability and their families, the likelihood that disability will become tragedy is increased. If I can trust the Lord, and if my Church will support me as I move through the challenges of having a family member experiencing disability, then the works of God will be made manifest (in family members, the person experiencing disability, and the larger Church community) (see 4/1/05 blog entry). However, if I interpret disability as tragedy, what is there to do but mourn and try to make the best of things. Somehow I don't think that is our calling. It definately has become our behavior, our experience, but I don't think it is our calling.
There was this totally spurious method of working with persons with severe disabilities several years back. I don't want to give you the name of those who advocated it or the name of the procedure as I don't want to give it any support whatsoever. However, the upside of the approach was that it brought the community together to help the family to help the child with severe disability. That aspect of the program was truly inspiring and remarkable. Imagine a group of people coming together to support a family in the same manner, only their support was not based on some false approach to working with people with disability, it was based on God's word. The results would be amazing.
Once again, we need to not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (see blog post 3/17/06). Interesting, isn't it, how what has become the "obvious" might fall away in the light of the truth of the Bible, if acted upon by the Church.