Treating people with love and respect

Treating people with love and respect

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EDITORIAL

Treating people with love and respect

Dear readers,

Damon Rose writes in a BBC News Blog: “Like many disabled people, I am often approached by Christians who want to pray for me to be healed. While they may be well-intentioned, these encounters often leave me feeling judged as faulty and in need of repair. So, I set out to discover what Christianity has to offer disabled people beyond promises of miracle cures.”

 

Thérèse Swinters, the chair of the EEA Hope for Europe Disability Network forwarded the link to this article to me. I read it and it made me think about how I think about and approach obviously disabled people. The article both challenged me and caused me to reflect on what was said, and I decided to pass it on to a number of EEA people.

 

Did you notice the comment at the end of the first paragraph? “So, I set out to discover what Christianity has to offer disabled people beyond promises of miracle cures.” Subsequently Damon Rose lets readers in on those conversations.

 
  1. It makes me think that Jesus never pushed healing on someone.

  2. Jesus somehow seemed to understand what his father had prepared for him to do. And it was not always the same and it did not follow a set formula. The response from people he touched was always positive though not all came back to thank him.

  3. I see Jesus acting to what people brought to him as their heart felt desires or else he engaged in a conversation with them. He did not just demonstrate the power of God on a subject but always treated people respectfully.

  4. And that raises my first question: Do I really know the fulness of God’s hope and when I engage with people do I live and breathe that fulness? I probably will never fully know as long as I walk in my earthly limitations. But it is my desire to know it more fully and live it more fully.

  5. Do I engage to listen and understand where people are at? It is very much about listening well and understanding from a point what the need and the desire of a person is. And trusting and believing that God can give insights which go much deeper than what is the obvious and use this appropriately.

  6. Could it be that offering prayer for healing can become an evangelistic tool without really looking deeper what the needs of a person are?

     

Evangelism is not just a formula or a tool but an opportunity to touch the hopes of people which are often hidden.

 

When we offer to pray for healing, what are we offering? Have we spent enough time listening to understand if the person in front of us wants physical healing? The offer of prayer is always important, and we must take care to make sure it is understood as an offer and not in imposition.

 

My prayer is that we are known as a people of prayer and of great hope and faith, a people who experience God’s intervention beyond what is, humanly speaking, possible. And this always with respect and genuine love. That should be the case outside the church and inside the church.

 

We trust that God can do his miracles in us, physically and spiritually. We long to see people as he sees them, and we want to be a blessing to all.

 

Yours,

 

 

Thomas Bucher

General Secretary EEA