One time, I gave my elevator speech of what Disability Concerns is about to a fellow Christian Reformed pastor. He responded, “Well, if any of those people come to my church, I’ll send them to you.”
The chairman led a team of volunteers and journalists to rescue the boy who had been tied and chained to his bed and locked up for 10 years. The rescue operation shocked neighbors, many of whom appeared not to have known that there was such a child in the home.
Ratifying this international treaty will not right all the wrongs committed against people with disabling conditions, but it puts a line in the sand that squares with the message of Jesus.
Susie Angel talks about the rejection and the welcome she experienced in churches as a person with cerebral palsy. She 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."
The spread effect is one of several factors that result in more people with disabilities living at the lowest end of the socio-economic spectrum of all North Americans.
Mark Wafer grew up with a hearing impairment, so he knows disability from the inside. When he began purchasing Tim Hortons franchises, he decided that he would hire people whom he believed would work well, whether or not they had a disability.
Through the apostle Paul, God paints a vision for his people in 1 Corinthians 12 as one body, together in Christ. No one excludes another. (The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!”) No one self-excludes.
Disability is hard on marriages, but telling couples (falsely) that 80 percent of marriages end in divorce if the couple has a child with a disability could lead them to give up hope. Couples in crisis need love and support and encouragement, not statistics.
On February 6, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Canada’s existing laws against assisted suicide are unconstitutional. The national dialogue needs the voices of Christians who speak into the deeply controversial issue.