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

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nate's story

A man named Nate once went to a church leader for council.  Apparently, Nate's son, an adult with cerebral palsy had had a difficult time at a recent Association for the Fair Treatment of People with Cerebral Palsy meeting.  The man related first of all that the building where the meeting was held, was not accessible.  Several people attending the meeting noticed that he could not enter and helped the man with cerebral palsy to gain entrance to the building.  Once inside, he was surprised to find that he was shunned by the people attending the meeting.  When people did speak with him, they spoke as if he were a little child.  When he asked about meeting activities that he could be involved in, the membership indicated that they felt he had little to offer.  Rather, they asked himi to sit quietly so as not to disturb those in attendance, fearing that he might drive them away.  After a time, the man met some people who were interested in him.  They started a sub grouop of the organization in which he and others like him could get together.  However, the people interested in him moved to a different chapter of the organization and the organizational leadership showing no interest allowed the subgroup to dwindle and eventually the man with cerebral palsy was left alone.  At that point, no one in the Association for the Fair Treatment of People with Cerebral Palsy seemed to notice or even care.

Upon hearing the story, the church leader was amazed at the lack of caring shown by the members of the organization whose basic creed was to support people with cerebral palsy.  The church leader said,
"What kind of organization is this!?  Their very name implies that they should be treating your son with fairness, yet, not only to they pay no attention to him, they even seem uncaring.  I say that they have lost their reason for being!"

Nate then said to the church leader,
"You are that organization, you are the leader, and the churches represented by you are that organization's members.  The persons with disabilities in your community whom you ignore are my son."

And the church leader's eyes were opened and he repented of his lack of love and compassion.



Anonymous said...

It is a shame that this story is a good representation of many churches today. It seems that they claim to have a place for everybody, but when people with disabilities enter the church, there is no real place for them. They are excluded, and their value as a human being is diminished. The problem persists because the congregation adheres to the social construct that people with disabilities cannot feel "what we feel," and therefore do not matter. The church leader in this story says that the organization has lost its reason for being. Indeed, when churches cannot supply people with disabilities the same resources that they supply those without disabilities, they have lost their reason for being.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I bet that was a slap in the face! It's funny how quick people are to judge, and how slow they are to realize they perform the same actions as those whom they are judging. The church leader made an interesting comment, saying "I say they have lost their reason for being". I wonder what he thinks his reason for being is? Now I know I was not there that day, but I can assume one of two things: Either (1) The church leader didn't know his church had a group that met for fair treatment of those with cerebral palsy, which implies that he must not be a very good model as a leader of his church if he doesn't even know which groups meet each week, or (2) The church leader knew very well that the man was talking about his church and attempted to act like he was clueless to preserve his self righteousness. No matter which of the two is correct, does this church leader represent the way of The Lord? The decision is yours.

It seems to me that the point of the group meeting at the church was to simply create an image for themselves as people who "want to help persons with disabilities". I find that sick. Not only are they belittling someone with the disability they are representing, they are supposed to be representing the ways of The Lord, as a church should be. I mean why go to church if your going to act that way towards another child of God? It doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

When I first read this story, I thought the same things that the church leader communicated with the Father. It is barbaric that the Association for the Fair Treatment of People with Cerebral Palsy lacked love, compassion and understanding towards this man with Cerebral Palsy. The building that the meeting was held was inaccessible. This shows that the association did not want the disabled community to attend. It is obvious that the association found no value in the man, because they did not let him help when he asked and he was spoken to like a child. Also, their lack of care becomes evident when they let the sub group dwindle, leaving the man alone.
I did not realize this until reading Nate’s Story, but it may be possible that the church treats non-Christians similarly to how the Association for the Fair Treatment of People with Cerebral Palsy treats people with Cerebral Palsy. First, I have noticed that the church does not make the church accessible to lost people. Rather we shun and ignore them. It is also sometimes very difficult for those who are new to the church to be involved and help. Most importantly, it is our mission to bring Christ to those who are hurting and lost, but the church is lazy in their task. They do not seem to care for the broken and lost, which should be the church’s first priority. This is similar to how the Association treated Nate’s son.