I was born with a condition called Aniridia and I am blind. I have been looking at verses in the Bible concerning Disabilities. We all know its very difficult living the Truth. We all tend to get lazy and put things off. Then we end up doing the things that we want to do instead of studying or visiting our brothers and sisters. We realize that pure religion would include especially visiting those that are elderly, sick, and lonely; those that are not married, or even those with a disability.
Gal 6:10 "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
The Ecclesia should be a haven for the lonely or for anyone else. The Ecclesia is supposed to be one big family. Those who grew up in a big family know being alone is difficult in a house full of people. Too often we fall short of this ideal. People get busy with their lives and fail to realize that an ecclesial member is lonely. People tend to hide things such as loneliness fairly well so that to the casual observer everything seems fine.
You don't have to pry into people's personal lives to see if they are lonely. If you suspect someone is lonely and you wish to help, even the smallest efforts can make a huge difference. Invite the person over for a visit. Ask if they would like a ride to the midweek Bible Classes. Ask if they need a ride to meeting on Sundays. Ask the person if they would like a ride to a gathering or to go on the outing with the Ecclesia.
Many times people don't even think about asking the person if they would like to go because they don't want to make the time or effort to pick them up. Possibly it is because they may dislike the person. Or they may think "Well that person can't do this or that so he/she won't want to go so I won't ask".
It would be a kind, loving, and Christ-like way to act to ask the person and to help them out in anyway they can.
joh 13:35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."The Ecclesia should find something that everyone can take part in. Many times I hear people say "We need to do something that will include the children" But they don't think about doing something that can include the elderly and the person with a disability, who are actual members of the ecclesia, whilst the children being considered are not. The Entire Ecclesia should be included. The ecclesia should find something that the entire Ecclesia can take part in no one should be left out for any reason.
There are many places that offer things for people with disabilities. Parks for example. They have wheelchair ramps on nature trails and recordings for the blind so they will know what is on the plaques that tell people about what they are looking at. There are many other things as well for people with disabilities. There are also other things that we can do to help those with disabilities. We should ask them if there is anything they may need or if they would just like to talk. So often people with Disabilities are looked at as a burden. We tend to not want to have anything to do with them for many reasons such as being uncomfortable with them. We often might feel they are weird, or we won't know how to act with them. We forget they are people just like us in most ways, and they are people who Christ died for.
I have had people over the years afraid to be near me because they were afraid of catching my blindness. As ridiculous as this might sound this is really true. This has happened. I haven't been able to work in the past 11 years, and the unemployment rate in the US for the Blind is over 80%. There is a lot of prejudice, Discrimination, and ignorance in the world and that makes life more difficult. It can play a big part in the person falling away from the Truth.
I say this because people with disabilities suffer from depression which is brought on from the way people treat them. There is a lot of Discrimination against the disabled and it can destroy a person. They are also very often all alone with very few friends or no friends at all and with no one to talk to. They have nobody to encourage them. They begin to feel that know one cares and since they feel unloved or not needed.
There is nothing more sad than to go through life all alone without anyone talk to, no friends, no one to care for them. It is a terrible burden to not feel needed or loved.
Jesus said in Mark 12:31 "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these".
We should and MUST love our neighbours not just those that we think are normal, married, pretty, thin, or whatever. We must love one another and show that love in any way we can.
In Exo 4:11 it says "And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the Lord?"
We must remember that and love those that are disabled, elderly, or single we must have love for one another no matter what. God has called us to the knowledge of the Truth. Only He knows our hearts. It is not up to us to try to figure out why God called him/her to the Truth. We all have that blessed hope of being in the kingdom where there will be no more sickness, sorrow, physical disabilities or death.
In one of our Hymns we sing of this wonderful time in Hymn 111. "The blind shall see, and the deaf shall hear, the dumb shall raise their notes for Him: The lame shall leap like the unharmed Deer, And the thirsty shall drink of the living stream".In Isa 35:5-6 it says Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
Just think of all the things that Paul did in his day. He was blind and he didn't let that slow him down any.
In Act 13:11 it says "And now, behold, the hand of the Lord [is] upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand".
Also in 2 Cor 12:7-9 it says And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
I find it a comfort to me as a blind person reading about Paul because he is an example to us all. Just think of all the things he accomplished he didn't let anyone or anything stand in his way. We have so much to look forward to if we are found worthy in the judgment to have eternal life what a joy it will be to have no more pain, suffering, sickness ,sorrow, prejudice or death. I hope if I am found worthy that one thing that I want to see more than anything else is a Rainbow. I have always enjoyed reading and studying about Rainbows and what the colors mean in Scripture. That may sound very silly to a lot of people because to a sighted person seeing a Rainbow is no big deal. Like the saying goes "you see one and you've seem them all." It's very easy to take things for granted so we all should be thankful for what we have and what we are able to do and it should make us want to help and love and to include those that are not as blessed as others that can see, walk, talk or hear. We should and need to remember that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and we must all answer for our actions in the judgment seat of Christ.
In Mat 25: 35-40 it says, For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
With Love In The One True Hope,Sis. Susan Sumler
There are many verses I find encouraging to read that help me as a person with a physical disability here are just a few that I would like to share with you in closing.
Exodus 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Leviticus 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
Psalm 146:8 The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous:
Isaiah 29:18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.
Isaiah 35:5-6 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Matthew 11:5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Matthew 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:
Matthew 15:31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luke 7:22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Acts 12:7-9 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
Acts 13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.
Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.