Friday, December 23, 2011

Please Check Out "The Invisible Gift" on Straight4ward with Loretta Baughan

My sister is Loretta Baughan and she writes a blog, Straight4ward with Loretta Baughan. In  her latest post, The Invisible Gift, she writes, "Have you noticed? There’s someone missing from church. People with disabilities make up about one-fifth of our population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. These are our friends, neighbors and family members. They are, though, for the most part an invisible segment of our society. Some may be homebound or otherwise unable to move about in our communities, but many are mobile. Then why are so few attending church?"

Loretta goes on in this powerful post to share her own experiences as a mother who has three children with disabilities with churches and the experiences of other mothers she knows.  Loretta says, "God doesn’t make mistakes. In His infinite wisdom, he gives us all gifts and He places people in our lives so we might gain a greater understanding of His love. Just because someone may be mentally or physically disabled… or blind… does not mean they are somehow defective or less of a person than someone who appears “normal”. Why is it so many people are quick to judge these people and reject them? Why do some Christians believe they need to ask God to fix or heal those who may not fit their own mold of wholeness?"

She challenges us with, "The church is missing out on a great opportunity to learn these same lessons and be blessed with these gifts, and so much more, from those who, for the most part, are missing from their congregations. On the flip side of the coin, the disabled, and their families, who do not feel welcome or comfortable attending church… those who may have experienced callous rejection, may be missing out on the opportunity to learn of God’s love and the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. After all, in Mark 16:15 He commanded:  “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (New Living Translation) In this season of giving, it is my prayer God may open the eyes and touch the hearts of Christians and church leaders so they might not be blind to those who are invisible members of their communities."

Thank you Loretta for sharing your heart . . . I pray it makes a difference in not only the lives of all who read it, but in their churches as well. Read her entire post . . . it is one we all must read and take to heart. 

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