Disabled Yet Capable

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I pulled my car into its usual spot. Hasn’t always been my spot, and I have to admit, I don’t like parking here. But sometimes we have to deal with the cards dealt to us. My “new normal” dictates I get out of my car. Sometimes slowly. Other times normally. I have to pace myself like never before. But God is so good. All the time. He knows how to sustain us. Through anything. Any trial. Any challenge.

The parking lot is crowded. The rain is pouring and I’m going on with errands I’ve got to run. No one can see what it feels like to be me. I imagine, no one always understands what it is like to be you. Beloved, God does.

A car pulls up behind me and the occupant inside yells, “Hey you have no right to park there!”

I’m thinking, Here we go again. This isn’t the first time someone’s gotten mad at me for parking in a disabled parking slot. Reserved for those who struggle.

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“Actually I do have a ‘right to park here’ although I wish I didn’t have that right.”

She is obviously irritated and shouts, “Miss, you look just fine and obviously have no right to park there!”

A bystander quips at the grumpy car occupant who had just yelled at me, “You’re mean!”

I wanted to shout back at the lady like the bystander did on my behalf, but instead I contained myself and walked over to this angry lady. I gently looked at her disparaging eyes. “I had close to one million dollars worth of medical care to remove a wicked brain tumor. I was in the hospital for eight weeks. My family was called to my side three times.

#14 Helo in the ICU

Defying medical odds, I returned home to a twenty week rehabilitative challenge learning how to walk, talk, eat, think, and function again. I sustained brain trauma, yet miracles still happen. You cannot see it, but I am disabled and now I am going to be transparent with you. Please don’t yell at people parking in a disabled spot. If they have a valid disabled tag in their window, they have a right to park there. Believe me, I bet they wish they didn’t have to.”

Tender responses can diffuse someone beginning to boil with anger. Rage is ugly. Tenderness is beautiful.

“Well, I still don’t think you should park there.”

“Have a good day,” I whispered.

She got quiet. Really quiet. Said nothing to me. Turned her head away from me. Rolled up her window and drove off.

An older couple, also parked in the disabled section, stopped and came up to me, “Don’t listen to people like that, honey.”

“Thanks.” I did my best to smile.

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As I walked away, tears began to fill my eyes. Why are some people so mean and others so kind? God, why did You allow that ugly brain tumor to occupy my head? I wish I was more like all of the abled people around me. There has to be something more to be gained from suffering than a grumpy woman yelling at me because I parked in that handicapped spot.

I went on with my shopping. Our home needed food and supplies. I was thankful — God provides.

Help was at home. My sons unpacked the car. I was exhausted.

Transparently disabled.

Yet, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

You know, all of us have some sort of disability, incapacity, impairment, abnormality, or affliction. Please don’t misunderstand me. Some of us are wheelchair-bound, use walkers, and have profound and noticeable disabilities. My heart goes out to the disabled, physically and mentally.

But behind our smile curtains, I think we all have some sort or a certain degree of disability. Stay with me for a moment. Some of us are shy. Some of us deal with addictions. Some of us have temperament issues. Some of us envy to much. Some of us doubt too much. Some of us lack determination. Some of us are self-centered.

All of us sin. None of us are immune to it —and sin is kind of like a disability. A spiritual one. It can chain us down. Bring us to our knees, thinking we’re not capable.

But Beloved, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. It doesn’t mean He will always remove our physical or emotional disabilities permanently. Through challenges, we can become stronger. Through challenges, God can take moments that we want pity and make us rise to help someone else. Or maybe He uses our brokenness to get our attention and to redirect our focus onto Him. Shattered moments can become blessed moments when we let God handle the restoration. But one disability God can remove eternally is sin. We simply need to call Him near and love Him back. Accepting Him into our broken hearts makes us new.

Hope in Him,
Helo

Knock Knock, Who’s There?

Remember the “Knock, knock” game? Let’s play. Right now. Never know who’s going to answer. I hope this puts a smile on your face and love in your heart. At times we all need this, right? When I showed this article to my husband, he said with a smile on his face, “This is a little bit silly, Helo, and aren’t you a bit too old to play this?” I retorted, “God made giggles and smiles. It’s okay for Him to watch us lighten up. And besides we all need to hear how much He loves us every day. Not just on Sunday when we sit in a pew.”

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Okay, Here we go…

KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there?”

GOD.

“Really?”

YES, REALLY.

“Why did You come to my door?”

BECAUSE I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU.

“What? I’m kind of busy right now, but I guess I’m the one who started this.”

I LOVE YOU.

“Like I just said, I’m kind of busy right now.”

I STILL LOVE YOU.

“Why?”

BECAUSE I MADE YOU AND I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY BELOVED CHILD.

“Well, sometimes I think You made a mess.”

I FORGAVE AND FORGIVE YOU.

“How?”

I SACRIFICED MY ONE AND ONLY SON TO TAKE UPON HIS SHOULDERS THE SINS OF THE WORLD, AND YOURS. BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. ACCEPT MY SON’S GRACE AND BECOME WHOLE AND COMPLETE.

“Wow.’’

Silence. Striking unfathomable silence. Because I am having a God-conversation. That’s what knocking on the door does. We knock. He answers. We open. We talk. He listens. We listen back. This is prayer time at its finest.

“That’s nice of You, God. But I have to admit, there are times when I think I’ve got it going on just fine and I don’t need You. Okay, maybe not. If I’m honest with You, other times, I don’t have it so good. Perhaps, I might need you then.”

I STILL LOVE YOU.

“Wow, You really are persistent with this love-thing. Maybe I do need You all the time. Through the good and through the bad…. Are You still there?”

STILL HERE. ALWAYS HERE BECAUSE I AM LOVE. I AM GOD.

“Okay, now You have my attention. Thanks for playing this imaginary ‘knock-knock’ game with me. But are You real?”

I WAS REAL YESTERDAY. I AM REAL TODAY, AND I WILL BE REAL TOMORROW.

“Okay, I’m listening now, but I’ve got lots of questions to ask You.”

I’M LISTENING.

Question.

“Why don’t You always give me what I want?”

I AM WISE. I AM WISDOM. I AM GOD.

“Beyond wise. Got me there.”

Next question.

“So, I can keep asking you for things like wisdom, provision, health, safety, and more… and You may not give it me right away?”

I ANSWER IN MY PERFECT TIMING.

Next question.

“Okay, how come it doesn’t always feel like You’re near? And if You’re who You say You are, How come it doesn’t feel like it is always easy to find You? I don’t have time for hide-and-go-seek.”

KEEP KNOCKING. I DON’T PLAY HIDE-AND-GO-SEEK, PRECIOUS CHILD, I AM ALWAYS NEAR. ALWAYS PRESENT.

Next question.

“What if I have moments of doubting that You are near?”

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. (Psalm 46:10).

SEEK ME WITH YOUR ALL.

FOCUS.

I AM ALWAYS PRESENT. I LISTEN TO YOUR EVERY PRAYER.

I AM YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER.

I LOVE YOU.

Next question.

“ Do I need to be perfect for You?”

NO, YOU ARE REDEEMED ONCE YOU ACCEPT THE GIFT OF MY SON.

Next question.

“So into my heart He goes, and You love me, I love You, and we know each other?”

THAT’S HOW IT STARTS.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you. (Luke 17:5-6).

Next question.

“You sure don’t get tired of questions, do You?’

I AM PATIENT. I AM PATIENCE. I AM GOD.

“Is there a limit to the number of questions I can ask You?”

NO.

“Is there a limit to HOPE found in You?”

NO.

“Is there a limit to Your LOVE?”

NO. ALWAYS REMEMBER I AM LOVE. ETERNAL LOVE. EVERLASTING LOVE.

“Then why is there so much pain in this world?”

REMEMBER THAT MY SON SAID, “IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE BUT TAKE HEART, I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”

“God, when can we talk again?”

ANY TIME.

“Anywhere?”

ANYWHERE.

“Really?”

REALLY.

“Thanks God.”

YOU ARE WELCOME.

“I love you, God.”

I LOVE YOU TOO.

This God conversation is over for now. I’m taking a pause-moment. Now I’m talking with you. One on one. But conversations with God don’t ever really stop; they simply take pause, or give us a moment to reflect. Then we simply need to “knock on the door” and start conversing with our Maker again.

“My heart has heard You say, ‘Come and talk with Me.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’” (Psalm 27:8).

It’s taken me a while to learn that I need to keep on asking, keep on knocking, because He keeps on listening. Doesn’t mean that God will grant every request exactly as I request it. He doesn’t work like that. Because HE IS GOD. I’ve discovered, time and time again, that His ways are not always our ways, they are simply better. Sometimes He answers prayers in unimaginable ways, making me fall to my knees. Amazed again. Other times, He seemingly doesn’t answer at all. And that can be His answer in and of itself. I think when this happens, He is asking me to be patient, be still, trust Him, and seek His will. He may even be redirecting my course.

And I simply need to keep on searching, because I will find Him. And so will you.

And I need to keep on knocking because He will open the door to His presence. Right before me, I will find Him, and so can you.

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And before we finish with “AMEN” let us all give our Father a shout-out, “We love you, God!”

Keep on knocking.

Hope in Him,
Helo