Jesus remark in our reading this week hits home pretty hard: if your are able! Isn’t that the question? Are we able to to live faithfully in a world where a teenager plots to outdo the tragedy of Columbine (Click here for CNN story)? Are we able to be the church as the number of people giving to support our ministries and social justice work declines, even as the rate of giving per person rises? Are we able to believe God is larger than our often narrow constructs, even as our Annual Meeting voted to begin the process of becoming an Affirming Conference (Click here)?
Are we able to believe we can make a difference in world whose problems seem to loom large all across our flat screen TV’s? As www.350.org would have us believe, and as Rick Fullerton offered us a sneek peek at SJUC a few weeks ago, are we able to discover and live in ways that cease to destroy and profit from the degradation of all creation? Are we able to believe in fair, transparent and accountable democratic forms of government even as scandal knows no political colour or stripe?
Are we able to bind up the broken hearted, discover that God is often right under our nose in the least expected and most hostile places we can imagine – even the moments when we truly feel God-forsaken?
To quote Mark’s gospel, in a word: Yes.
We are able. All things are possible for the one who believes.
Oh I know what you’re thinking: Spare me. Love cliche’s much? 🙂
Between our bible study on Mark’s gospel and my recent experience of being a Chair-Leader in the 2013 Canadian Paraplegic Association of NS campaign this week past, I would offer this pearl handed down in the hymns of our ancestors: open your eyes that you might seem, glimpses of truth God has for me and you and everyone, if we’re willing to look.
Did you know that 11% of Nova Scotians live with some form of mobility disability, and have you considered that each of us is but a split second moment, now or later in life, from having the way we live and move in the world change forever? These were some of the reasons I volunteered to participate with CPANS (never mind that Lorna works for CPA….had to mention it given the allusion to transparency above)
So I have many reasons to think about spending my entire work day in a wheelchair to get a sense of what the world looks like when you ride on two wheels rather than walk on two feet. All I will say is that it put a whole new spin on Jesus question exclamation…if you are able!
Between the people staring at me as I wheeled through the Halifax Shopping Center parking lot, and the shopkeeper who invited me in even as I realized the aisles were too narrow for wheelchair access, I wondered: Am I able? As I watched one of my fellow chair leaders wrestle with three young children, strapping them into the backseat, juggling her groceries, transferring from the chair to the car, taking the chair apart beside the car, hauling it into the vehicle and finding a place to stow it (all while keeping the peace in the backseat) I wondered: Aren’t mothers amazing? AND…am I able?
When I came to church and I couldn’t put the key in the front door, open it and wheel through and was forced to ask for help just to get into my daily place of work, I wondered: am I able? As I was forced to wheel my way backwards in to the washroom stall (after a lot of thought and calculation) only to have the washroom motion light leave me in the da