May 28, 2015

Disability from a 1st-Person Perspective

By Richard L. Morgan |
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Rear view of woman with Zimmer frame walking in hospital corridor

Strange, isn’t it, that we really don’t realize some things about life until we experience them? Most of my life I have worked with people who have disabilities — either they are in wheelchairs, use walkers, or have other restrictions. But yesterday it hit me full force. I participated in a hospice memorial service. Since I could not process down the aisle with a walker, I had to sit by myself in the choir. It gave me a new perspective. The words “Stand, if you are able,” which we often hear in church, struck me, as I was not able to stand. So I said my piece sitting down!

My neuropathy has progressed to the point that I am totally reliant on my walker. When I leave my neurologist’s office, his last words to me are: “Don’t fall!” Yeah, right.

As I reflected on being handicapped, I rewrote the words of Jesus to Peter about being old [see John 21:18]: “When you were young, you went wherever you wanted; but when you are old, you can only go where your wife drives you or where your walker takes you.”

Waiting for the service (and wondering if the audience expected me to sing a solo), I thought of the amazing courage of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and how his legs failed him from polio. How he was restricted by those braces on his legs! He was a profile of courage.

People have been kind and gracious to me. If I had sung a solo, it would have been, “I walked today where Jesus walked,” but I go there in my mind.

I live in the hope that someday, in the next life, I will “mount up with wings like eagles, [I will] run and not be weary, [I will] walk, and not [fall]” (paraphrase of Isaiah 40:31).

_______

This article, originally titled “Handicapped: On the Other Side,” first appeared in Richard Morgan’s blog on March 23, 2015 and is used by the author’s permission.


 

Richard Morgan

Richard L. Morgan

Richard L. Morgan is the author of At the Edge of Life: Conversations When Death Is NearSettling In: My First Year in a Retirement Community, Remembering Your Story: Creating Your Own Spiritual Biography, and several other books on aging. He is the coauthor (with Jane Marie Thibault) of the award-winning Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life: 7 Gateways to Spiritual Growth and No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia. Richard is a retired pastor and hospice chaplain. He stays busy providing pastoral care for persons with dementia in his senior living community, writing, marketing, and providing consultations for churches studying his books. For more information about Richard, including his blog, “View from 80,” visit his website: richardmorganauthor.com.

 
May 25, 2015

When We Stand in the Presence of Mystery

By Lee Hull Moses |
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Excerpt from page 157 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.


Read Isaiah 6:1-7


This passage is full of imagery that boggles our twenty-first-century minds: creatures with six wings call to one another across the vast throne room; the Temple’s foundation trembles at the sound of their voices; smoke fills the room; live coals rest on the altar; and God is so big that just the hem of God’s robe fills the entire worship space. … read

 
May 20, 2015

Nurturing the Mind Through Yoga

By Taunia Rice |
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Taunia Rice yoga pose“ ‘You have to live with your mind your whole life.’ You build your mind, so make it into something you want to live with.
Nobody has ever said anything more valuable to me.”
Marilynne Robinson, author of Gilead, recalling her teachers’ advice growing up in 1950s Idaho

I’m struck by the power and undeniable truth of this instruction. We are constantly forming our minds by discerning what to take in, choosing what to dwell upon, heeding our muses, and even crafting our interpretations of our experiences. We learn that the way we see informs the way we live. … read

 
May 18, 2015

Waiting for the Spirit

By James Harnish |
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Excerpt from page 150 of The Upper Room Disciplines 2015: A Book of Daily Devotions. Used by permission of Upper Room Books.


Read Romans 8:22-27; Acts 1:1-5


My nine-year-old grandson enjoys building a fire in the fireplace at my lake house. He keeps adding more wood until it burns like Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. I have trouble convincing him to wait for cooler weather to build a fire. … read

 
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