Tag Archives: disabilities

My Last Post as Spiritual Drift

This will be my last post as Spiritual Drift.

I can no longer find the words.

Since my last post, and given the current climate of our nation, both politically and spiritually, I simply can’t think of anything I can say that would make one tinker’s damn bit of difference. To anyone. To anywhere.

We’ve grown too busy shouting, too comfortably entrenched in our own dystopian universes to worry about the lost art of communication. We run around shouting that the sky is falling, never seeing that it isn’t our God who created that sky, it was us. We are being crushed by gods of our own making. We’ve grown fearful of every shadow because the light of the world has grown too dim if it hasn’t been totally extinguished, never recalling that we were supposed to be that light.

I weep for my country.

I weep that a statue stands at our shore and says, “”Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I weep that our founding document includes the words, “all men are created equal”.

And I weep that no one cares.

I weep for my religion.

I weep that my scripture says, “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the stranger by giving him food and clothing. Therefore, show your love for the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
And says, “Love your neighbor as yourself”.
And says, “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’”

And I weep that no one cares.

I weep for the “less than”, for the oppressed, the alone, the wounded and weak, the disabled. I weep for people of color, and people of poverty.

I weep for the poor in spirit, and for those who mourn. I weep for the meek, and those who are hungry and thirst for righteousness. I weep for the merciful, the pure in heart, and for the peacemakers.

And I weep that no one cares.

No, I take that back.

A lot of people care. We just care more about being heard than about hearing. We seem to be caring more for our rights, for our liberties, for our needs, and for our selves.

We care more about the external than the eternal.

We care more for those things that moth and rust destroy, that thieves can break in and steal.

We equate acceptance with approval.

We equate immigrant with enemy.

We equate poverty with work ethic.

We equate disability with worthlessness.

We equate need with weakness.

We equate conservativism with oppression, and liberalism with anarchy.

We have lost the fine art of nuance, and we’ve forgotten that we live in a world of gray and not one of black and white.

And mostly I weep that there is no one to talk to. No one who will withhold judgment. No one who will simply listen. No one who will do the hard work of caring, and who will face the hard truth that we, yes WE dear Americans and dear Christians, are as much to blame for the state of our world as are our supposed enemies, and probably more.

I have no words.

I am at a loss.

And thus, this will be my last post as Spiritual Drift.

God help us all.

Hope For My Daughter, Hope For Myself

When my wife found out she was pregnant with our second child—wow, over nine-and-a-half years ago now—we had the usual expectations, we experienced the usual joys, and we asked the usual questions.

One of those questions was: As a second child, will we still have the same level of delight, celebration, and accomplishment when she achieves all of her “firsts”, just like we did with her big brother? You know: that first word, those first steps, the first day of school, the first time left with kids groups at church, so on and so on?

After we found out she had Down syndrome, many of those questions, and that one in particular, went out the window.

Of course we celebrated every first, because every first was such a struggle—sometimes for her, more often for us—and such a triumph that we couldn’t help but rejoice.

One of the things she exhibits that I am still in awe and wonder of, even to this day, is her ability to approach most all of these situations, including school, and play, and new kids, and new places, with such a sense of enjoyment and unencumbered innocence.

No, it’s not that “these kids are always ssssoooooo happy”, (anyone with a child with a disability is laughing at that stereotype right now), but there is a genuine purity there, untethered by fear, or doubt, or labels, or prejudice.

I hope she never loses that.

If I have a worry for her, as she grows older, especially with the coming move from elementary to middle school, it’s that I hope she never loses that sense of wonder and innocence.

The odds are against her.

Against us.

But here’s the main reason why I hope she never loses that:

To me, what she shows us—shows her peers, shows the world—is what I see as a little glimpse of what heaven will one day be like.

I think the wonder, the awe, the sheer sense of joy in play, in discovery, in interaction, regardless of what it is she’s doing or who she’s doing it with, is exactly what I hope to feel one day in heaven, without all the burdens of this world. Without the bias, without the judgment, without the worry, without the stress, without the hatred and pain and intolerance and suffering and class warfare and jealousy and pettiness and sorrow.

Without all that, what’s left?

Pretty much all that remains is what I see in my daughter’s eyes as she runs off to Kid’s Quest every Sunday, as she spots a tire swing on a playground, as she sees another girl about her age in the Missoula KOA pool on a mid-summer’s afternoon, as she grasps a bowl of frozen blueberries in her tiny hands and runs off to watch Frozen for the 4,786th time.

Again, I hope she never loses that.

And I hope, one day, I find it.

Oh, I know one day I will, but I really hope to find it before that time. Before I cross over some ethereal plane of existence.

I hope it doesn’t come to that before I realize the simple pleasure of a perfectly made salsa; the stunning scenery of a road trip; the otherworldly colors of a sunset—ANY sunset; the soft skin of my wife’s cheek; the look of conspiracy on my son’s face as I say “yes” to something that sounds really cool and just a bit dangerous.

And the awesome power and stunning beauty of lightning!

How about you? What’s your joy?

What is it that, when you think about it, or are in the midst of doing it, that little voice inside your head says, “Man, I wish it could be like this all the time”?

And my next question would be…what keeps it from being so?

Memorial Day ~ Greater Love Has No Man Than This

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

To all who live with the burden of the horrors of wartime, and to those who grieve the loss of loved ones to battle, thank you for your sacrifice.
May you find a measure of comfort in knowing that because of His great love for you,God also knows the pain of sacrifice. Amen
~ Reposted with thanks and appreciation from Christ Centered Teaching