We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing.
No, we need to keep on encouraging each other.
This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer.
Hebrews 10:25 ERV
When my son was little, he was just one of the babies in the church nursery. I never gave much thought to the idea that things might not always be that simple.
But as he grew older, the problems started. He needed direct supervision at all times and didn’t walk until he was four. Tired, overwhelmed and just wanting to sit in church on Sundays with my husband once in awhile, I asked about finding some buddies for him. I was told they didn’t have enough people.
We attempted a number of arrangements but nothing ever stuck. Invariably it was a member of our family who had to be in there with him every week. Sometimes the arguing started in the car…
“Who’s going in with him this week?”
We were all tired. And after awhile, it started to become easier for me say, “I’ll just stay at home with him.” Of course this wasn’t a real solution. Prone to depression and anxiety, I needed to be in church just as much as anybody else. Our marriage needed it. My hurt and resentment began to grow. I was beginning to feel like “that mom.” The one whose son was always acting up and always needed something. Feeling excluded. I reasoned that if church was going to be a country club for perfect Christian families, I didn’t really want to be a part of it. We were never going to measure up. It was certainly toxic thinking on my part but that is where I was.
And then it happened that I had a chance to visit a faith and disability conference where Pastor Joel Hunter was speaking. It rocked my world. I saw people and a church who genuinely loved the disability community and wanted to help parents like us. In fact, he stated that the church needed them more than they needed us..because they ground us. We become more like Christ in our love and service to them.
We found another church with more inclusive ideas about special needs children and adults with disabilities and it has made all the difference in the world for our family.
But there’s still so much to be done in every community. The church must be on the front lines of reaching out to the disability community but it’s an uphill battle.
Here are some links to other bloggers who have also spoken out on the importance of disability ministry.
Where Churches and Disability Meet