Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Get Out The Word!

"Learn to do good.  Seek justice.  Help the oppressed.  Defend the cause of orphans.  Fight for the rights of widows."  (Isaiah 1:17, NLT)

Working in the arena of disability ministry, I can assure you that each month of the year is dedicated to awareness of a variety of different causes.  March was Hemophilia Awareness Month.  April is Autism Awareness Month.  And so it goes.  People advocating for these groups are called to give extra attention to getting out the word about these diagnoses to everyone around them.

It is interesting to note during these months that our secular life is not and should not be separate from our religious life.  We can be helping those less fortunate as God calls us to do by making others aware of their situation.  People often make judgments out of ignorance to a family's plight.  Parents of kids with bipolar disorder or other "invisible disabilities" may be accused of being "bad parents".  Kids with cerebral palsy may be thought to be cognitively delayed merely because of their unusual motion or speech.  I myself have been regarded as a child abuser because my son with hemophilia had "angry" bruises in strange places.

God has equipped people like us for such a time as this!  We can rise up to build understanding and compassion for families just like ours by educating the general public.  When a critical remark is made because of ignorance, a good response can begin with, "Yeah, I used to think that too...."  Grouped together, our individual voices can make a huge impact.  Whether it be a lapel pin, a bumper sticker, a t-shirt or a walk-a-thon, your engagement can make all the difference in the lives of both those who are hurting and those who don't know any better.

What are YOU doing to change the world around you?  I'd love to hear!

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