Some of the most heart-breaking stories I’ve heard or read about church and disability are from families who did not feel welcome at church. I think about those stories frequently.
Following the Sunday School service last week, I was reminded of at least one reason pastors should want families like ours attending:
We are intensely interested in the question of God’s sovereignty.
I won’t say every family experiencing disability is settled on the answer, or even that most believe God’s sovereignty is good! It took a fairly dramatic, God-ordained series of events over time – and the miracle of God granting the eyes of my heart to see – to bring me to a Biblically-sound, life-giving conclusion to that question.
To pastors: I know we are intense, and we often do not advocate for our families in ways that are kind or gracious. The existence of our children (and their behaviors) makes other people uncomfortable. The hurts we bring feel like they will overwhelm you and the capacities of your church. Our questions may reveal the bitterness and the hostility that we feel toward you, or God, or the church.
But if we’re coming to your church, we are interested in what you think about God. You cannot do God’s work of giving us new spiritual eyes to see, but you might be the means God uses. For pastors, in particular, I hope that gives meaning to all the prayer and time and preparation and tears and sacrifice you make. And I hope you live with the assurance that God’s promises to supply every need, when families like mine are right in front of you, are promises meant for you.