03 October 2013

Broken Values

We were talking tonight about value and purpose in people with a disability and I was reminded again how important people with disabilities are to this world. Statistics are showing that in Europe, 92% of babies diagnosed with Down's Syndrome are aborted and by 2030 Denmark will have seen the last baby born with this condition. Can you imagine a world with out disabilities? What are we telling our children? What are we valuing as a people, as a society?  It seems to me that we are beginning to leave a legacy that says you have to be perfect to be here, that unless you are free of a disability you are not valued, not worthy, and not wanted.

But that is just not true.

People with disabilities are wanted. What society looks down on our heavenly Father adores. Those whom society mocked, Jesus touched.  He values them all. In Luke 18, Jesus' disciples rebuked the blind beggar, thinking Jesus had more important, better things to do than to speak with him. However, Jesus stopped and he healed that blind man. He took time out for the lowliest of the low and touched him. What Jesus own friends viewed with dismissal, Jesus lifted up.

Liam's buddy B
Liam's life is full of value. I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom, I'm saying that because I truly believe it. This world is a better place because he exists. Not only is his life valuable, he gives value to others. I have seen the joy he brings to others, all with out saying a word. Liam even has a best friend at school.
While Liam may not know he has a best friend, Liam has brought value to B's life because B values him as a best friend and B brings value to Liam's life because he loves on him unconditionally and with no pretenses. I would say that's a very worthwhile, valuable relationship right there. Both of them, full of worth, and very loved, even in their brokenness.

But most of all, God loves and values Liam very much. In the scriptures God is always on "Team Weak". In the OT God even displays his wrath against anyone taking advantage of widows or orphans by putting them to the sword. He takes it seriously that we should be caring for those less fortunate. In Psalm 82: 3,4 God presses us to defend the weak and fatherless, to maintain the rights of the poor and the oppressed, to rescue the weak and deliver them from the wicked. That sounds to me like a God who cares very much for people with special needs, doesn't it?

In Matthew 25: 34-46 Jesus speaks of the separation of the sheep and the goats. He spoke about giving something to drink to someone thirsty, food to those who hunger, clothes to the needy, etc... He explains that when we do that for the least among us we have done that for him.  It is supposed to be an honor to help those who can't help themselves. God is compassionate and we are to be as well. God created us in his own image, not for us to feel superior to one another or look down on those less fortunate. We are to lift them up, love them, feed and clothe them, and value them because each person has God given worth. We mimic God when we mimic Christ's service to others. And it is in the lowly, the weak, and the disabled that we see purpose beyond ourselves, purpose that brings us closer to Christ and shows us how valuable it is to have a world full of broken disabled people. I wouldn't want a world with out it.

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