Tuesday, May 03, 2011
A picture is worth a thousand words
As you look at the picture above, you see a man in need surrounded by loving, caring people who are lifting him up in prayer. It is a powerful image. I could just leave you with that image as what you see is really all that is important. But because I am trying to facilitate the inclusion of devalued people into the church, I will tell you that the tall man in the midst of the group is me. I am not a devalued person by the world's standards. By the world's standards, I might be considered successful because I am educated, have a career and have a home and family.
The people around me have experienced discrimination on a variety of levels because of a characteristic they have that society devalues. They would each be considered "disabled" by society. But look at the picture. Who is in need and who is ministering to the need? Do these characteristics matter in any way when people go before the Lord in prayer? They are blessing, encouraging, benefitting me. I am submitting to their ministry.
These kinds of images need to be more prevalent within the church. If people devalued by society because of a characteristic called disability are not contributing to the edification of others, it is probably because they have not been given the opportunity to do so.
It is our discrimination that distances them.
It is our discrimination that always puts them in the position of being recipients of ministry.
We are the same. To see us as different is not to see them as they are in the picture. It is a contrivance.