We Are All Disabled
Updated: Jan 30
Zeke, in a common understanding, is what we call severely disabled. He requires constant care and I had this thought that in having a child like Zeke, my world as I knew it was bound to shrink. But miraculously the opposite has occurred, through a little boy who cannot speak or move, my world has expanded exponentially. Zeke has 17 specialist doctors who have become our friends and helpers, a floor of nurses that are like a second family now, receptionists and hospital staff that know our names and greet us with such care. We go to the big city more than ever before, I have met amazing people; physical therapists, vision therapists, foster care workers, social workers, support service agents, judges, other amazing children with disabilities and their families. Through a little boy who can not speak or move, I have been introduced to a whole new world really.
Who signs up for this stuff? It's a valid question.
This compelled me, no, forced me to question and consider some very difficult and soul searching thoughts. It has put me in confronting situations of answering on the spot questions that I would never have anticipated others asking me. Living engulfed in such an affluent culture, so consumed with comfort, promoting oneself, pursuing financial success and stability, flooded with diets that focus on lengthening our life spans and improving our health spectrum, endless self-help advice and methods, being consumed with one’s own beliefs and avoiding grief and pain at all costs. The most consistent question I have asked myself and have had others bluntly look me in the face and ask is, "Why would we do this?" This....to take in a broken child that will never speak, walk, drive a car, dress or feed himself, cost financially, cause us to be questioned and looked at awkwardly in public places, will forever need to wear diapers, be pushed in a wheelchair, always be with us needing us to adjust our lives for his care. Who signs up for this stuff? It's a valid question. The answer is a beauty I wish every person could see and know.
When I care for Zeke it is a constant reminder of how God cares for me.
You see, I am disabled, and so are you. We are all disabled. You might be thinking, "No, no, no! We are able to walk, talk, feed ourselves, learn endlessly, get degrees, and jobs, create, etc. We are not burdens on society, we contribute to society. I mean, yeah Mrs. Sardina, you might be getting old and a bit forgetful, but come on! WE are not disabled!" Sure when you compare Zeke to us, he is the disabled one. Compared to him, we feel incredibly able. But when you compare us to God, we are severely disabled. As you well know, we can only be in one place at a time, our energy runs out and our bodies shut down if we don't sleep, we need food, shelter, heat, and water, to survive. We can build and create but we are limited to our resources and we can't bring anything into existence. We can react and learn to manage with the changing weather but we are at the mercy of nature’s disasters, we can learn but there is not one of us who is all-knowing. You might be talented or smart. I don't mean to burst your bubbles but, there will always be somebody more talented or smarter, and compared to God....well, you know.
The Latin prefix "dis" means "not, "the opposite of" or "apart" Compared to God we are capitol NOT -able, we are completely and utterly disabled!
We are mortally disabled in our sinfulness, sentenced to certain death. He is eternally able in his holiness, truly alive infinitely.
Now, why would an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-seeing, completely whole, completely able God give a stitch of care about you or me? He doesn't need us! Pretty much we are a nuisance. Right? We live in a disabled world, in disabled bodies, and most preeminent, something we all feel and know, is our disabled souls. We know the debilitating effects of injury inflicted on our souls by others and the circumstance of our fallen world (we suffer from emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect, insults, poverty, broken homes, sickness and disease, and horrific disasters), but even more debilitating is our own sin. We are born into it, commit plenty of it before we are even aware and even run headstrong into pursuing its fleeting pleasures over and over and over again. We are mortally disabled in our sinfulness, sentenced to certain death. He is eternally able in his holiness, truly alive infinitely. Couldn't he just wipe it out and start over? Why should he bother with our disabled world, disabled bodies, and disabled souls? It’s all pretty hopeless right? Wrong!
God has a perspective that is not ours. He has an eternal perspective. God sees redemption. He sees the beauty and wholeness that is to come.
Can you imagine? One day He will redeem this earth and make it new again. No more carnage, polluted waters, natural disasters, or famine. He will give us new eternal bodies. No more sickness, broken bones, autism, cancer, brain damage, microcephaly, seizures, blindness, quadriplegia, the inability to speak or swallow correctly. And our disabled broken souls will be made whole and eternal, unblemished by sin and the effects of sin.
...He laid down His life showing ultimate care and compassion.
God in His greatness didn't abandon us in our need, for our disabilities. Jesus came to us, in his perfect ableness, to seek and to save that which was lost. He actually seeks out the disabled you’s and me’s. He cared so much that He laid down His life showing ultimate care and compassion. He stepped down from his glorious great reign on high in Heaven and became a baby in complete need and experienced our deprivation. He grew into a servant man and did not exalt himself as King. He abandoned his ability to save himself off of the cross and went so far as to die so that we might truly live. And through his resurrection death was swallowed up in victory. The resurrection fulfills the purpose of all He did and all He offers us. His ability for our inability.
Even so, you might ask, "Why?" It's not because of who we are. You and I, in our disabled states, are only worthy of being discarded by a holy able God. This, in our perverse world, is what some would like to do with people in such need as Zeke. Discard them. But God is not like this world. He doesn't keep caring and helping us because of what we can do for Him. It's because of what He knows he can do for us in the eternity of tomorrow. He sees the redeemed you, you made whole, you made able, you absent of any and all disabilities, in all of the joy and freedom your soul will hold in the perfect world to come. It's not about the ugly disability of today. It's about the beautiful ability of tomorrow. It's about the eternal perspective.
God delights in caring for you and is full of compassion and attention towards you. It is not about your healing now, but about your response to His care.
God delights in caring for you and is full of compassion and attention towards you. It is not about your healing now, but about your response to His care. But, just like for Zeke, the healing will come in the tomorrows when we cross the door of eternity. But Zeke's response to my care now is a life or death matter. If Zeke fought me when I cared for him (which sometimes the tasks are quite uncomfortable and even painful for him), he would be refusing the very help he needs to live. He has to trust me even though I may cause him pain. And so we must be with God. Don't expect the healing today for all your disabilities, and expect that some of your care may even hurt, but live in the hope of tomorrow and trust God to care for you. He is able and he will do it! I can only care for Zeke the best that I am able, but God is able to care perfectly. Trust him.
Zeke is a perpetual picture of God's mercy, compassion, care, and love for my very disabled soul.
When I see Zeke, I see hope. I see beauty. I see redemption. I see tomorrow. Zeke is a perpetual picture of God's mercy, compassion, care, and love for my very disabled soul. He reminds me of hope when I see the horrific news broadcasts. In simply serving him I am continually reminded of God's provision of my everyday needs to sustain me physically. We were told Zeke may never smile. He smiles! And when he does it ignites a joy in my soul I can't begin to describe. Is that how God feels when He makes me smile? Wow! Zeke reminds me of the incorruptible Kingdom to come and to invest in the treasures of heaven where moth and rust can not destroy and thieves cannot steal.
He invites you to live in the eternal perspective of the beauty of redemption.
See your own disability and do not hold yourself above another. You and I are no different than Zeke in the site of the perfectly able God. Put your trust and hope in the ability of God to save you and heal you. He invites you to live in the eternal perspective of the beauty of redemption.
Those who know me even a little bit, know my favorite music artist is Sara Groves. One of her songs, "Why it Matters" is one of my favorites, if not my very favorite. May your soul be kindled.
"Show me a love that never fails
Some compassion and attention
Midst confusion and dissension
Like small ramparts for the soul
How it matters
Like a single cup of water
How it matters"