Often a community stops crying out to God when it has itself stopped
hearing the cry of the poor, when it has become well satisfied and found a way
of life which is not too insecure. It is when we are aware of the distress
and misery of our people and of their oppression and suffering, when we see them
starving and sense our own inability to do anything about it that we will cry
loudly to God: "Lord, you cannot turn a deaf ear to the cry of your people;
listen then to our prayer." When the community makes a convenant with poor
people, their cry becomes its own. (1979, Paulist Press, p. 124)
Obviously all people have problems of a greater or lesser degree. I find, however, that the problems of persons with disabilities are at times very difficult to solve. They can be difficult to solve for me personally, because to solve their problems implies a time committment on my part. I have to change my priorities to include them when I would rather take my ease, watch tv, or read a book. But I don't think I am called to take my ease as much as I would like when my brother or sister is in need. It truly is not about me. At least it is not about me, or should NOT be all about me, if I am a Christian.
But another aspect of this is that when I see human need, I also seen the insolvable nature of human need. Don't believe what the politicians or anyone else tells you...we will not be able to solve the problems of a fallen world because it is well, fallen. Sure I can help and I can lessen the pain of those around me by God's grace, however, I have come to believe that one of the reasons that there are people in need in the world is so that we will cry out to God. That we will seek God's wisdom, God's help for seemingly unsolvable problems. In my own little perfect life, with a good marriage, good children, good job, good income, good place to live and so on, I may loose the desperation of my need for God. I have become intoxicated by my blessings, and rather than look to the source of my blessings, or look to see if others have blessings or need blessings, I go home and watch the football game on tv. But bringing myself into contact with those in need, those who are alone, those who may even be suffering, reconnects me to my helplessness without God in this world.
This is yet another reason why the church needs people with disabilities. They have challenges in their lives and the lives of their families which can only be addressed by a cry out to God. We truly do "sense our own inability to do anything about it that we will cry loudly to God" if we are aware at all. We are brought to a point where we sit without the answers, in deep distress, calling out together to God. I think that is a place God wants to take me, to take us. He wants to challenge our securities with insecurities so that we will be forced to rely on Him rather than our own resources. He wants us to step back and look at our resources, be they emotional, intellectual or monetary and physical, and be a part of the solution for others.
When I am in an uncomfortable situation with a person with a disability because I don't have the answers, or can't communicate clearly, or am reduced to simply praying because I don't know what to do, I inwardly smile a bit as I recognize God is challenging me to cry out to him on behalf of this person. God is wanting to grow MY faith and the faith of the person I am attempting to support. Once again God has connected me to a hurting person and given me the honor to share in that person's frustrations.
But remember, the solution is not to reject those who make us feel uncomfortable. The solution is to get in there with them and share their experience, share their struggles, and perhaps make others uncomfortable through our allignmentment with a disenfranchised person. The typical response is to reject, to exclude because involvement requires change on my part or the part of the institutions I am a part of. The answer, however, is to work through the uncomfortable feelings, to reflect on them and understand them and to change with them as appropriate.