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

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Unschooled and ordinary but had been with Jesus

In the book of Acts, the story is told of Peter and John healing a man who was lame. After healing him, they were arrested and went before the various Jewish leaders. The comment is made in Acts, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13 (NIV)

Wow, they were unschooled and ordinary men. As I shared this verse yesterday with the group of adults with mental handicaps with whom I work at my church, I was struck with how that verse applied to those in the room. They are all pretty much unschooled and ordinary. At the same time I can say to you that they are mostly very courageous. One fellow, Mark, often tells of the teasing or hassles he receives at work or in the community because of his disability, or because he is a Christian. Typically his response is "You need the Lord" which is followed by further ridicule from his detractor. But I look at Mark and see his courage while recognizing that he is an unschooled and ordinary man . . . or is he?

The verse goes on to say that they "took note that these men had been with Jesus." I see that in many of the Christian adults with developmental disabilities that I interact with. You hang around with them and you realize that many of them have been with Jesus. Not in a physical sense as with Peter or John, but in a sense of being with Jesus through faith.

Call it a lack of social skills leading to the ability to not know better, but the honesty of persons with cognitive disabilities seems courageous to me, and they may not understand many things, but they understand their basic faith, and are unabashed in speaking it.


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