Had a chance to attend a church with the whole family -plus Ashley- this past Sunday. The visiting pastor, Mark Stephenson, is the director of Disability Concerns for our church denomination. He addressed the congregation on the importance of including everyone, using the text from I Corinthians 12.
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body.... If the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?
All parts belong. All parts are important. All people are important. All of us belong.
Until we learn to walk alongside each other, learning from each others' visible and invisible disabilities, we will not understand what it means to truly live in communion with others.
As believers in Christ, living in community means living as the Body, the Body of Christ - the communal sense of bearing His image. (Not my words - check the link for more.)
Because caring for or carrying visible and invisible disabilities can be lonely, there is a deep appreciation for those who take the time to learn about your life -your child's disability or your own.
And this is different from choosing to have some alone time. I am referring to a loneliness that comes to anyone who feels left alone, feels as if no one believes or recognizes their daily struggles.
Sharing this journey comes in the form of two companions: Those who can sympathize and want to help, and those who can empathize and wish to also be supported.
:: photo break ::
When Rachel is at school therapy, Janneke takes over her bed.
I hung a small disco ball to catch the light. Janneke isn't quite sure of it yet.
Thanks for reading the blog and walking with us.
Recently, I posted a question through our church denomination, asking about other families with children like ours - who don't fit any specific syndrome or category. If you're curious, click this link. (It's timed, so the link may change after one day.) I have no idea what type of responses my question will generate. Time will tell.