Loving all those differently abled, those living with challenges physical and/or mental health issues are the many persons who should be included in being present with in regards to incorporating the all-inclusive message of the gospel teachings of Jesus Christ!
Embracing those living with long term disabling conditions is how we include others into our circle. Including others, regardless of disability, is about showing forth the Love God has filled us with.
This faith life is about being present with one another in the midst of adversity, bearing one another’s burdens.
Embracing others is about caring enough to take the time needed in being a true friend to another. It is about listening and not pushing one’s own agenda onto someone already suffering.
This faith life is not primarily focused on getting them ‘healed’ or having to ‘fix’ another, or requiring them to bow to our dogma. It is certainly not about excluding them, rejecting them, or making them feel on the ‘outside’.
Yet this is often the response persons enduring long term chronic conditions receive from good intentions of Christians, leaders and often many pastors.
Like all of us, children and adults with disabilities and/or long term medical/mental health conditions, have a great need to belong. A caring friend can be a lifeline to those who often feel isolated and alone.
Support and encouragement can make a huge difference in the life of one who must endure on-going difficult symptoms, limiting them in ways one never takes into consideration.
Let us consider one another and think of ways we can be kinder, nicer, more tolerant and accepting of those whose life is one of struggles.
In Luke 14, Jesus taught the religious leaders of his day that in the kingdom of God we should embrace and befriend those with whom we would not normally associate in our social settings.
In fact, He gave us a new guest list for dinner parties: “the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind” (14:13).
These are people that society has marginalized or relegated to places of lower social status.
Jesus specifically indicates in this passage that one sign of true spiritual maturity is welcoming the marginalized. May we all step out of the box of what has become acceptable in the ‘church’ and walk into the lives of those kept on the ‘outside’ of Christian circles through biased and prejudicial attitudes, embracing them with the warmth of the Christ Spirit who is love. (Luke 14:14).
Jesus told us in the Scriptures, “You must Love the Lord your God, with ALL our Heart, with ALL your Soul, and with ALL your Mind.
This is the first and Greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your Neighbors as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Our relationship with our Lord is integrally interconnected with our relationships with others and the bond that ties our hearts in one accord is the fruit of the Spirit of which the greatest birthed, is Love. (1 Corinthians 13)
Love is a priority with Jesus, and should it not be so with us too?
Let our hearts mirror this Love that Jesus came to earth to manifest. That in All our interactions with others, that our Love would be the internal drive, motivating our responses.
May this Love Reign Supreme in our hearts, for then we are fulfilling the Greatest act given by God, choosing to show forth His authentic Love as the Priority in All our relationships.
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister to the Body of Christ
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