A Holy Word on Love and Service
Let us consider two questions:
How can we, as the Body of Christ, best serve and love families and individuals impacted by disability?
How does the Bible inform our understanding of love and service to people impacted by disability?
I ask these questions with the hope that they will provide a lens to better understand how to care for families and individuals impacted by disability, but also to point all of us to the necessity of the Gospel in loving and serving these people well.
Weariness of a Different Kind
Disability is pervasive, yet often isolating. It is a relentless teacher, yet often morphs into an even more relentless ruler. Families impacted by disability feel these contrasts moment by moment each day. Living a life swallowed by such contrasts, these families stand on the edge of all encompassing weariness. It is comparable to the weariness many people experience amid trying seasons of life riddled with trials with, often, but a few triumphs. But families impacted by disability may experience this level of intense weariness day, after day, after day.
A Romans 12 Community
One of the central reasons for this incessant weariness is due to the lack of community. Programs and support groups have their place, but it is the Body of Christ that should be the greatest source of encouragement and offer the deepest, loving care. They need a community that lives out Romans 12: 9-13. A body of believers that:
Love genuinely with brotherly and sisterly affection.
Abhor what is evil and hold fast to what is good.
Fervently serve the Lord.
Rejoice in the hope of the Gospel.
Wait on the Lord in times of suffering.
Are faithful in prayer.
Generously care for one another in practical ways.
Believers, these are holy and authoritative words. If Scripture calls us to be a people as outlined in Romans 12, then the question of how we can best serve and love people impacted by disabilities has been answered. People impacted by disabilities will be served and loved best by a body of believers that take God at His Word and live to proclaim the excellencies of His glorious grace (1 Peter 2:9).
Where TEF Comes In
It is the goal of The Elisha Foundation, through family retreats and training events, to serve as a gateway into this kind of community through partnering with churches. This is vital to build that sustainable, encouraging community for families. Through the involvement of churches, people within the Body are connected to one another on a deeper level, and those outside it, are welcomed in. But ultimately, the hope is, regardless of where each family is coming from, the Body of Christ seeks to love them well through living genuinely in accordance with Scripture and speaking to their deepest need, met only in salvation, through repentance and faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ.
If you still feel unsure how to answer the opening questions, firstly, I would encourage you to delve into God’s infinite wisdom found in Scripture. There you will find a sea of things written for us to guide and motivate our love and service. Secondly, as a supplement to God’s words on love and service, The Elisha Foundation has media, resources, and volunteering opportunities, that would greatly benefit you in understanding how you can best serve and love people impacted by disability. The opening questions cannot lie dormant in minds transformed by the Gospel, they require answers and action (1 John 3:18).