If that’s not a provocative blog title, I’m not sure what it. It’s a quote from the book that we’re walking through in our “Growing Hope” group at Benjamin’s Hope this summer entitled Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lessons of Grace. It’s by Greg Lucas who’s son Jake is multiply disabled and the things he’s learned about God through his journey as a father. The quote stems from a story Greg tells of needing to bathe his son and what a harrowing experience that is. His son Jake basically hates to be cleaned and Greg likens this to our journey as people in a sinful and broken world. The author says this: “Much like my son, I have been disabled all my life. My disability affects everything I am and everything I do. Scripture diagnoses this disability as sin. Not individual acts of sin, but a sin nature, sin residing in my heart. It causes me to reject love and embrace fear. It plagues me with slumber that makes me strangely satisfied to lie in my own filth and not be disturbed. It’s not that I like being dirty. I just hate being cleaned.“
This description of the effects of sin on a human life as our common disability is so fitting. As a pastor who works with individuals who live with visible disability, I need to remind myself that I’m just as disabled by the sin that resides in my heart – I’m just really good at hiding my disability.
If this were the end of the story, It wouldn’t be very good news. However, the story of the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ came to rescue us out of our filth and brokenness – To save us from our selfishness and sin – To restore us into a right relationship with the God who created us! This is indeed GOOD NEWS – it’s what Christians call The Gospel! I pray that you’ll allow Jesus to enter into your sin, your brokenness, your disability and make you whole. He came to seek and save that which was lost and isn’t waiting for you to clean yourself up before He’ll come to you. He will take you just as you are – filth and all – and wash you and make you clean if you’ll simply let Him. May each of us trust Him enough to do that good work. In Christ’s name, Amen.