5:88 – You never know what someone else is going through
#faithbties #faithjourney #disabilities know
As we know, God has a way of messing with us when we need it the most. Today, I was reminded of an event from five years ago that really had an impact on me. While I hadn’t forgotten it, it had been a while since I thought about it. Below is the #faithbites I wrote (tweaked to fit the newer format as it was one of the original #faithbites) with a newly added prayer. Still impactful five years later. Remember, we never know what someone else is going through.
Today’s lesson is about appreciating those with disabilities or other abilities. I admit when I’m driving behind someone going slow I get mad sometimes. When I’m in line at the checkout and someone is going slow, I get impatient. When someone is walking so in front of me, I get impatient and frustrated. (It’s not like the extra 60 seconds is going to change my life). What we, and I fail to understand, is they may not physically or mentally be able to go faster. They may have a reason for their actions or inactions that I can’t comprehend. Today, I got to experience this.
At our annual faculty retreat, we were discussing empathy, and they asked for 6 volunteers. I, of course, volunteered not knowing what I was getting into. The only thing we were told is we would get to eat lunch first. First, we were told to put on goggles that made our vision-impaired based on certain drugs or alcohol. (I got a pair that simulated cannabis). That threw my vision and depth perception off. Then we were told to walk to our table. I couldn’t make it without help. Once at the table, my tablemates put earplugs in my ears, gloves on my hands, and taped them together. Then they taped my knees together, and my arms to my chest. Then I was told to walk to the buffet and get my food. I couldn’t walk, people were pulling me asking me to go faster (they didn’t think I couldn’t walk nor see anything beyond blurs). As to the food, I couldn’t see it to select what I wanted and nothing sounded good. I debated getting a salad because how could I eat it. I opted for a bottle of water over a can of coke because I didn’t think I could hold it. People had to keep repeating what they were saying to me, I had no idea what was going on, and they said I was almost screaming. I sounded normal because of the plugs. Everything about my 20 minutes experience rocked me. The best experience was feeling the touch of my tablemates, holding my arm, hugging me when taping me up, and making sure I got where I needed to. Then I was asked about my experience. Afterward, I took my disabilities off. Most can’t ever take it off.
- Leviticus 19:!4 – “Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.”
- John 9:1-3 – “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
My temporary disabilities were severe. They rocked me. I understood how isolated, lonely, and dependent someone could be. I learned to be patient, kind, and understanding. But too often we are not. We curse those who have disabilities or are different. We help them to stumble when we should look at how we can help. Not in the ways we want to help but how others need the help
We all have disabilities. They may not be physical or mental, but they can be spiritual or emotional. We need to recognize those and help others in their struggles.
Are you ready to look beyond the inconvenience that someone’s disabilities cause you? Are you willing to help someone in the manner they want? I am
Lord God, you challenge us to grow every day. Help us to understand that we are all built differently and wonderfully in you. We have different skills and abilities. Help us to be strong and never grow weary of people who do things differently. Help us to be patient, kind, considerate, and loving in all things. Finally, we pray that you open our eyes to see the world through their eyes. We hope that those new eyes let us see things as you want us to and allow us to serve better. In your name, we pray, Amen.
#54of365 #FaithBites #FaithJourney