I’ve been aware of disability all my life. Not only do I live with my own disability and the disability of my husband, but I spent my entire childhood attending school, Saturday recreation programs and summer camps with children who had a variety of physical and intellectual disabilities. In my early 40s, I spent two years in a nursing home for disabled adults. So I’m quite aware of disability, thank you very much.
I guess I could devote this month’s worth of blog posts to writing disability themed articles. Such articles usually attract lots of readers, and my ego would certainly love that boost in numbers. Maybe able bodied people would actually learn a few things.
But I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable about disabled people who form their careers or ministries around disability. God uses them, I admit. Often. they open doors for other disabled people, greatly improving their lives. Yet it bothers me a little to see them focus so narrowly on their disabilities that few of them seem to have an identity that transcends disability. I don’t mean to be judgmental, but I’d rather raise myself above my disability in order to take my place in the able bodied world. Not that I want to pretend that my Cerebral Palsy doesn’t exist — I just don’t want it to define me.
My identity is in Christ.
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Growing old, as my mother once said, isn’t for the faint of heart. And as I approach my 70th birthday, I can’t decide whether I’m too old to be crippled or too crippled to be old. 🙂 Either way, the combination doesn’t appeal to me.
At the end of 2020, I fractured my back for the third time. The other two times, I’d recovered fairly quickly, and even enjoyed day trips into Boston until September of 2019. In 2020, an acute bout with anemia and malnutrition left me unable (and frankly, uninterested) in going to Boston, but I looked forward to taking my new, easier to drive power wheelchair into the city. I imagined jetting up the Rose Kennedy Greenway or tooling down Boyleston Street without the struggle that my previous chair caused. Sadly however, trouble with Personal Care Attendants just as my back fracture was healing kept me in bed much longer than I would have otherwise stayed down. As a result, my back muscles have become weak, and driving is sometimes painful.
At this point, I don’t see myself even returning to church (although John and I remain members in good standing and stay accountable through an elder who comes each Friday to lead us in Bible Study). Those cherished excursions to Boston are therefore entirely out of the question! After all, fellowship is infinitely more important than sitting on Boston Common watching tourists or going to the North End for cannolis. Slowly, I’ve accepted that I may never see Boston again.
And it’s all right.
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Thank the Lord for discernment bloggers who have the courage to identify false teachers! Years ago John and I attended a church that went through Rick Warren’s 40 Days Of Purpose campaign. At first, it seemed so benign that I assured a girlfriend that we could trust it. But a promotional video the pastors ran one Sunday morning showed Warren repeatedly using Bible verses way out of context. Alarmed, I began scouring the Internet for information on him, finding an overwhelming amount of evidence that he is indeed a false teacher.
Discernment bloggers can, obviously, be an invaluable resource when we need quick answers about popular evangelical teachers and trends. Some of them can even move readers towards sound doctrine. Researching yoga, as a matter of fact, actually led me to discernment bloggers who in turn introduced me to Reformed theology. Some self-proclaimed discernment bloggers, of course, are really nothing more than baptized gossips whom we should avoid as fastidiously as we avoid false teachers, but there are many trustworthy bloggers who provide information that keeps us from falling into deception. So as you read this article, please don’t misunderstand me as denouncing all attempts to call out those who regularly and unrepentedly propagate error.
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