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Treating people with love and respect
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.
It makes me think that Jesus never pushed healing on someone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Could it be that offering prayer for healing can become an evangelistic tool without really looking deeper what the needs of a person are?