Living With Cerebral Palsy, Rejection, and Welcome

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Susie Angel describes a common experience for many people living with visible disabilities. Well-meaning but misguided Christians pray for their healing.

I heard one man, who uses a wheelchair, talk about how he eventually came to handle such encounters. He said that when people approach him to ask if they may pray for his healing, he replies, "Yes, I can always use prayer. But please know that I'm happy with my life as it is now." He said that at hearing his reply, one person actually turned and walked away without ever praying for him. 

Susie experienced both rejection and welcome in different churches. Telling someone with a disability that God can "heal" her is a subtle form of rejection of the person as she is. Instead of trying to make people conform to some artificial norm, how much better to embrace people's differences as part of the wonderful diversity with which God made his image-bearers. As Susie says, "God needed me for a purpose to be the way I am. That purpose was to teach able-bodied people that it was okay to be different." 

God calls each of us to keep changing to conform more and more to the image of Christ. Reflecting on Susie's talk, how does one embrace people as they are, and still inspire them to conform more and more to the image of Christ? 

Note: the video is over 15 minutes long and includes stories of several people affected by disability. Susie's talk is first and lasts about three and one-half minutes. 

Central Texas Stories of Faith and Inclusion

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This is a great story. Thanks for sharing!