Thursday, July 26, 2012
Is God Handicapped?
A confirmation kid stumped her pastor. She asked, if we're all created in the image of God, and if handicapped people are also created in the image of God, is God handicapped?
I am legally blind. I am created in God's image in some ways, and in others definitely not. The condition of my eyes fits both. I do not see people as you do, so I am not bound by your visual prejudices (imago Dei). I do not see people as you do, so can miss hurt or pain on people's faces and unwittingly compound that hurt by my missed cue (not imago Dei). For me, the Reign of God is not my getting 20/20 vision; it's living in a church and world where not seeing doesn't matter. I suspect that, if God, in Christ, is not handicapped, God in Christ would become so if that's what it takes to love someone who is handicapped.
I preached at and attended DAYLE in OLA last week. The message Definitely Abled Youth needed to hear is that they are not an accident or a mistake, their disability is not their fault or God's punishment, and that God intends more for them than enduring this life, dying, and going to heaven where they will be "normal" or "whole." And these are ELCA young people. I am still haunted by what they have internalized in church.