The other day, I read 2 blog-posts one after the other. They really made me think! One was called “My Pirfect Life”, written by a mother about her daughter Sarah, who had Down’s Syndrome – a girl who always had the mind of a 6-year-old, who wrote misspelt notes in the covers of her books like: Someday my prnce wll come, and: I have a pirfect life. The mother wrote: “She dressed up on ordinary afternoons. She danced. She smiled. … Sarah’s disability did not define her”. Such positive words.
Then into my inbox came a post by a friend of mine, who doesn’t have the mind of a 6-year-old. She has the mind of a 30-something and tells it like it is. Please read her post. She does a good job of describing the challenges that we as blind people face, but it was the title that got me thinking. Having a Disability has no Benefits? I understand where my friend’s coming from on the practical side, but from a faith-perspective, there has to be some benefit to me being the way I am, doesn’t there? Because if there wasn’t, surely as soon as we became Christians and started living by faith, God would step in and heal us.
Let me tell you about a time I had prayer for healing (I do that sometimes). This particular day, I’m in a queue at the front. It gets to my turn and the man asks: “What’s the problem?”
“Oh. That is a problem.” He asks about my blindness, so I tell him I was born premature and given too much oxygen; that’s what caused it, so he puts his hands on my eyes, and starts to pray. “We rebuke this accident at the hospital.” I hadn’t expected that. I thought: I’m not sure I want to say that. Oh well, if I have to; if that’s what’s going to get me healed … so I say amen. Then he gets excited and says: “We won’t go until you’re healed!” Well … he went, and 6 years later I’m still not healed. Please, if you’re praying for somebody, don’t make hasty promises. This man had seen blind people regain their sight in other parts of the world; I thought he knew about healing, so I clung to that promise; so when we stopped praying and I still couldn’t see, you can imagine how I felt.
Obviously rebuking the ‘Accident’ wasn’t what was needed, and I’ve never done that again. I can’t think of the whole thing as an accident, because that would be 31 years of my life wasted. When I pray now about my sight, I first thank the Lord for my life up to this point. I’ll let Him decide when He wants to start a new chapter.
So, are there no benefits to disability? Or can we dance for joy on ordinary afternoons, like Sarah with Down’s Syndrome did? I think it’s a bit of both. We certainly have challenges; there have been days I could quite sincerely ask the question my friend ended her post with, but nevertheless, I want to take a leaf out of Sarah’s book – to have the joy and contentment that she had.