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May 10, 2016 • eparkin1208

I know this is going to be a controversial topic. Maybe that is way I took so long to write it. I am going to write it anyway because I think its important. I want to talk about miracles. Specifically faith healing. “Why?,” you ask? Because I’ve experienced people I don’t know trying to come up to me while I was minding my own business and trying to heal me. Then, look surprised when it didn’t work, the first was when my family was ordering food at a restaurant. It happened a second time while waiting for the bus at college. This is harmful to me as a a person. I am a person with a disability, that means that I need to cultivate and attitude of independence and non linear thinking. I need to be able to be able to think outside “The Box” in order to live the way circumstance says I must. It is exceedingly hard for me to do that if the society in which I must forge a life thinks that I need to be fixed in order to be happy.

I am a Christian. That means I believe that the creator of the universe became incarnate through the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in order to reconcile his creation to himself. I believe he was capable of doing all the things The Bible says he did. I have even asked him to heal me at times, when life seems hard and the simplest of tasks seems impossible. He has not, for reasons of his own, seen fit to do so.

It is precisely because of his decision that I believe I understand something. Jesus did not live so that he could wave his hand and wipe our problem away. We are after all called to love others as we love ourselves, Perhaps The lord allows problems in the world to give us opportunities to do that. Jesus’ purpose was to change people’s thinking about their God and themselves, and finally to give everything of himself so that people could live peacefully with themselves and their creator. The Lord does not see as man sees,” we are told in 1 Samuel 16:7 “Man looks only on the outward appearance, The Lord looks on the heart.” Jesus ministered a lot to the disabled his many acts of healing were meant to inspire those around him to think of them as God did, and still does, as people with a purpose.

I don’t understand why I must live this way. I certainly don’t like it, that’s true and sometimes, I wish things could be different. It would be easier for me to live this way if some people didn’t look at me and see someone who could be healed by simply laying on hands. I don’t want to preach to people, or tell them what to believe, but they’re when I wish I could tell those faith healers, if they were truly to see me with the eyes of God, they would have seen someone with purpose. I don’t know what my purpose is, but I do know that I’m not a magic trick.

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May 1, 2016 • eparkin1208

Inclusion of people with disabilities is a concept that is simple to understand but very difficult to implement correctly. If inclusion is implemented correctly, everyone involved learns to work together in order to cultivate strength and overcome weakness. Seeds of empowerment will forever be planted in the heart. If inclusion is implemented incorrectly, weakness can smother strength and self esteem can wither in the burning heat of anger and self pity.

I’ve struggled with inclusion all of my life. Never more so then when I started college. I needed a lot of help to live in the dorm I couldn’t get in and out of bed on my own. So I often had to go to bed early which left little time for socializing in between classes, because I had to be put in bed when my aid could do it. Due to certain other physical differences, it took me longer to complete classwork. so I was working a lot. I felt that my disability erected a wall between me and my dorm mates that I had trouble breaking and I was sensitive about it.

My senior year, I was required to do a community service project. I was invited to go to a local church to fix burritos for the homeless. No one told us that this church wasn’t wheelchair accessible. I could get in the door but I couldn’t go downstairs to help make food. I remember the priest saying “Handicapped access is a problem for us, but if you stay here and tell people to go downstairs if they try to use the front door, it would be helpful.” I nodded as he locked the door.

This was not inclusion, this was a patronizing attempt to avoid embarrassment. If it wasn’t for the nice young woman who kept me company all night. I would have felt awful.

Since the church didn’t work, I went to a soup kitchen where I was able to work. I helped to peal potatoes and put things in salad. I did it slower than anybody there, but I felt like a part of things. I was there to help and I did.

All people, regardless of circumstance or ability, want to feel seen and heard. Its important for all people to feel included in the right way, for the right reasons.

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