The Beauty of Disability
Our pastor was introducing a new sermon series about beauty when these four words, which I had never strung together before, which I did not want to string together, took up residence in my brain. My response was swift and prickly.
The beauty of disability? Why would I consider such a thing?
Several images flashed by in rapid succession:
- My father lying in a hospital bed, his once strong body ravaged by multiple sclerosis.
- My 2-day-old son splayed in a NICU isolette, his abdomen marred by post-surgical incisions.
- My elderly mother leaning sideways in her recliner at the long-term care facility where she lives.
My eyes welled with tears. My heart ached for the pain and loss experienced by people I love dearly. Where was the beauty in their disabilities?
I fought for control and turned my attention back to the pastor as he read Genesis 1:27.
And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (NASB)
The pastor explained how God revealed his beauty in the act of creation. Also, because all humans are created in God’s image, we bear the image of His beauty even as our hearts long for the fullness of it.
Wait a minute!
I believe that God’s creation reveals his beauty.
I believe that all humans are made in God’s image.
I believe that all humans includes those with disabilities.
I believe that those with disabilities reveal God’s beauty.
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Jolene Philo is the author of the Different Dream series for parents of kids with special needs. She speaks at parenting and special needs conferences around the country. She’s also the creator and host of the Different Dream website. Sharing Love Abundantly with Special Needs Families: The 5 Love Languages® for Parents Raising Children with Disabilities, which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, was released in August of 2019 and is available at local bookstores, their bookstore website, and at Amazon. The first book in her cozy mystery series, See Jane Run!, features people with disabilities.
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