When you think about why there might be persons who experience disability in the world, typically you come up with two types of responses. The one states that people are disabled by design. That is, God made them that way. It is the "who made man's mouth" argument that God gives to Moses when he doesn't want to lead because of his apparent poor speaking ability. The other side is the perspective that along with disease and death, disability entered the world at the time of the Fall of man. Prior to that time, there would be no disabilty, by design or otherwise. One wonders about the range of creativity God might have used at that point in areas like memory and other aspects of cognitive functioning to the point of a level of functioning being what one might call a disability.
Anyway, the question which I have been considering lately, is that if God created people with disabilities by His design, that is He made them that way, why would Jesus go to the trouble of healing many of those who came into His life? If they were disabled by design, and that was just another creative aspect of the creation, he might as well as changed the hair color of the Middle Eastern people from black to blonde, or their ethnicity from Middle Eastern to Caucasian.. If disability is a natural part of God's creation by design, why heal? God didn't heal Moses' mouth.
Somebody smarter than me needs to wrestle with these issues to provide a greater understanding of disability.
Anyway, something to think about.
Friday, February 03, 2006
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This is only an opinion and I am not a great theologin(sp?) and I do not have my Bible infront of me. I think one has to look at one's presuppositions and usually if the presuppositons are correct, then the reason or answer will be correct. I believe that man was created to be whole and not lacking mentally or physically by human standards, (not superman or having God's genius). I believe that when Sin entered the world through Eve's controlling decision to depend on her own reasoning and not on God's words and Adam's passivity, (after all he was standing right there when Eve was tempted and said and did nothing) then the world and its creatures changed and were affected for the worse. God allowed this to happen but did not make Adam and Eve sin, that was their choice. From then on, man had no choice but to depend on his own reasoning (the knowledge of good and evil) and had to atone for his sin through the shedding of blood. You probably know the rest of the love story.
Sin in the world continues to affect creation. God allows this. That is why there is pain and death. That is why disability exist. God allows this and even claims responsibilty for this..."Hath not I created the deaf the dumb and the blind." He also reveals to us his purpose for this in this particular case. Disability is for his Glory. He also says that his strength is made perfect in weakness so that He might be glorified. We are to share in his sufferings so that we can know Him deeper. We are also to pray, "On earth as it is in heaven..." I do believe that disabiltiy is a "normal part of the human condition," however I do not believe this is how creation began and was "meant" to be in the ideal.
Personally, I wish that Adam and Eve would of eaten from that other tree in the garden. It was the Tree of Life and it was not forbidden. I can't help but think that if they had eaten of it's fruit and not the fruit of that other tree, then mankind would have faced a much different existence, one without disability.
I would say that everything is in some way ordained by God. Nothing happens that is not the express or at least the permissive will of God.
'Everything is made for God's purposes, even the unrighteous man for the day of judgement.' (Proverbs)
I have concluded that the disabled (at least the ones that don't get any benefit from a raucous miracle crusade) are on assignment to reveal God in the weakest among us.
Mother Teresa's habit of seeing the face of Christin every suffering and rejected soul she met and acting appropriately on tis truth is a good way for the Church to respond to the marginalized and handicapped.
Perhaps the disabled can say as Paul did in Col. 1:24 'I am making up for what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for your sake.'
We can't idealize the conduct and attitude of every disabled person but we can honour them as being like Christ in their rejection and suffering. A suffering that may be an integral part of our own salvation.
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