“That is Your Work”
WOW!!!! It’s been over 2 years since Super Mighty Max came into the world to bless us and those who follow his story with his presence. Oh, and let me tell you, it’s been a looooong 2 years of loving him, learning his personalities and needs, navigating the disability world, spending time in and out of hospitals, going through multiple nurses, and being his advocates in a world where persons that are disabled aren’t always thought of first.
Which brings me to this post today. I believe it was in a previous post that I lamented the lack of ministries and literature that was written that addresses the needs of persons with special needs and disabilities. To my knowledge, there are not a lot of predominantly Black churches providing inclusive ministry to persons that are living with disabilities or special needs, other than having a wheelchair ramp and a sign language interpreter. Again, this is to my knowledge, I’m sure there are a few churches doing something, but I’m not exactly sure what that is. One thing I do know for sure is, there are more parishioners worshipping in our churches with special and disabilities than there are churches providing the ministry.
Nonetheless, last week I was in Chicago for my first intensive for my Doctoral program, and one of the books we read was entitled the Kairos Document. This book was written during Apartheid South Africa by theologians, ministers, and laity, as a response to the racist South African government at the time. This was their Kairos moment– a moment of divine opportunity. In reflecting on this book, I began to wonder what my kairos moment is? What is the problem that needs to be addressed for such a time as this? In talking to one of the program facilitators, she really encouraged me to consider addressing the problem of the lack of ministry and conservations concerning those with special needs and disability.In so many words, she was saying to me, “That is Your Work!”
Therefore, as a result of that conversation, and my desire to give my own son an opportunity to be a part of the worship experience in church and others like him, I’ve decided to turn this subject/problem into my Doctor of Ministry project. My first step in this journey is to educate myself on this subject, starting with the book The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability by Nancy Eiesland.