There are so many causes in this world that one can choose to become impassioned by. Unfortunately in this age we all know someone who struggles with a battle against cancer, who is a victim of a domestic violence attack or has a broken self esteem from degenerative disease that shows itself in physical limitations. No matter the crisis, you can find great comfort and joy in advocating for those who suffer; individuals without a voice of their own.
But have you ever considered the possibility that though our intentions are noble and pure, our promotion and highlight of the cause can unintentionally "handicap" the individuals we serve even more so?
I had the great joy about a year ago in August to see God call me to work and advocate for those with developmental disabilities. These individuals, though they require support, have taught me so much about the world we live in. How a smile can go a long way, that laughter is necessity, that nature is so complex if we take the time to look closely or that sensitivity to surroundings is not weakness. The more i work to advocate for this population of people; young and old, the more i grow as an individual.
This has brought me though to a very distinct and probably polarizing thought. In my efforts to support people with intellectual disabilities am I by extension, unintentionally handicapping their capability?
Let me explain. We have so many different people in our community who have so many talented gifts. God expects us to use our gifts to serve others, and so we set to work raising awareness and advocating for a cause that has touched us or taught us. We hold fundraisers, do literature drops, on air ads, walks, runs, cookie bakes ect... We host many or we talk to few all in effort to show the "99% the voice of the 1%". We talk about misfortune, why God allows pain and suffering, how can they possibly continue on, how the money will truly go to help support them.....but are we falling short?
I believe we are missing the greater picture. We have a view of the frame work, but we haven't truly viewed the creation within. The truth reveals itself in the form of capable human beings who have so much to share. And while we highlight the differences and the DISabilities, we in fact, i believe, "handicap" them further by not recognizing the potential of the being.
So how do we press on? Well consider the words found in Micah 6:8
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
"Love is Patient. Love is Kind"