FMF - Include

Friday, 11 May 2018

Five Minute Friday is a weekly blog link-up group that provides a one-word prompt and we set our timers and write for five minutes. This week's word is ....INCLUDE

This word means a lot to me.  Mostly because I am an advocate for inclusion of people with disabilities in our communities, schools and churches.  My entry into this life had to do with my older son's autism diagnosis and then, of course, we were already in it when our youngest was diagnosed as well.  

I have seen so many positive ways that people have been included in our communities and schools.  I know it isn't perfect yet and may never be but there seems to be a push by society to include everyone and make sure that people with disabilities are living to their full potential.  I may be living in a place where this is happening and you many not see it but believe me it is starting.  

The place I don't see this is in the Church.  This is the place it should be happening and should have been happening all along.  I know churches with special needs ministries that move people's loved ones away during worship.  I know my boys can be distracting in our Church and I have received the "looks", especially when my youngest rushes the stage during the sermon or has a melt down during that time.  What people don't know is how much he loves our church.  All his projects at school this year were about the church and how much he loves to sing there and how much he loves it.  He isn't very verbal but when he is it is important to him.....

Extended time...

Church is a community of broken people worshipping a perfect God.  WE ARE ALL BROKEN.  Some just have to admit it better than others.  We as a Church need to include those who make us uncomfortable.  We need to view people with disabilities, not as older children, but as equals.  My sons may have neurological issues that make them different from societal norms but they are both intelligent young men who can contribute to our Churches and communities.

Psalm 146:9 says:  The Lord protects the resident aliens, and helps the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. (CSB)  When I did a LOGOS study on this verse the term resident aliens referred to those who were outside of social structures and vulnerable to injustices.  If this term didn't include people with disabilities I don't know what does then.  We MUST and SHOULD include people with disabilities in our worship and church communities as equals.  They are not people to make us feel better about ourselves (don't get me started about inspirational porn), they are people who God sees and loves just as He loves us. 

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