A thought hit me this AM. The last 2 days my right ear was REALLY plugged up. I could barely hear out of it. The left one was pretty bad too. I was at the grocery store buying a mylar balloon (grocery store because my local $ store closed :( and balloon....because I am the balloon buying, hair bang aunt to the triplets!). So, I find a balloon that still has some helium in it (AND it says I LOVE YOU). I go to pay and I kind of hear the cashier tell me the other lane can help me. Both cashiers looked kind of annoyed as it took a few moments for my recognition as they gestured and started to talk louder. I had not realized how bad my hearing had become. A trip to the dr later in the day fixed the problem. However, I have a deeper issue that needs some attention.
I thought back to a time many years ago when we had parked in a handicap space at a store. My mom had a hurt leg, but wore a brace so it was not visible. As we walked into the store, a "gentleman" (using the term generously) said "I was waiting to see which one of you was handicapped."
There are many handicaps that are not visible to the casual observer. There are people that do not limit themselves by what others would consider a handicap. I so admire those people! Where it would be easy to make excuses, they go above and beyond expectations. There are casual observers who judge those seen as being handicapped. Sadly, I have done that more than I would like to admit. I have put limits on myself and others based on what I think they can and/or should do.
We truly never know what someone else is going through if we have already judged them and think we know. Unless we take the time and effort to get to know someone better and truly listen to their story, we may miss out on the perseverance it takes to make it through the day. Things we take for granted. We need to see our way past the disability to the ability.
I wasn't sure if I would find a verse to tie this together. I typed "handicap" in www.biblegateway.com and in the NIV version nothing came up. The Message version though had this:
2 Corinthians12 7-10 Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.