Message from the President: Theological Nuggets

Coming from the Christian perspective, there are three Bible verses that I really resonate with regarding individuals with disabilities. I am confident similar sentiments are present in other faiths, and those of you who are from other faiths, I would invite to put together a similar progression.

Coming from the Christian perspective, there are three Bible verses that I really resonate with regarding individuals with disabilities. I am confident similar sentiments are present in other faiths, and those of you who are from other faiths, I would invite to put together a similar progression.

  • Exodus 4:11 relates the Lord’s response to Moses after he questioned being God’s choice to speak to Pharaoh. Moses says, “I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord responds, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?” The implication being God makes people, the way they are, deliberately.
  • In 2 Corinthians 12:8&9 Paul the Apostle, speaks of being given a “thorn” in the flesh and that three times he asked to the Lord to take away. God’s response was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” The implication being, God is satisfied with Paul the way he is.
  • Then, in 1 Corinthians 12, and specifically verse 22, Paul uses the metaphor of a body to describe the connections between members of the Christian congregation. In verse 22, he says that “the parts of the Body that seem weaker, are indispensable” to the body. The implication being, that to be a complete body, indispensable parts must be present.

Taken together, these three verses indicate that from the Christian perspective, 1) God actually makes people with various disabilities, 2) he is at times reticent to heal them of the differences they experience (independent of faith, as Paul, perhaps the Christian of greatest faith in history was not healed when he requested healing) preferring His power be seen through the weakness of the individual with the “thorn”, the disability perhaps, and 3) that people who seem weaker, perhaps because they experience a disability are “indispensable” to the Body of Christ. That is, the fellowship of Christian believers cannot live without them. They may “seem” weaker, however, in reality they are indispensable.
I find this progression helpful as a taking off point in understanding a Christian perspective on disability. I would be curious to read a set of similar theological nuggets that inform other faith traditions about disability, and invite you to submit them for inclusion in this newsletter!

Blessings,
McNair

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