Elimatnating Partiality

Read this passage from the NT Book of James first...

A group of middle age handicapped people came into the restaurant today. I have always struggled with physically and mentally handicapped people. The make me uneasy and nervous. To be honest, I usually do what I can to avoid them. I do this mostly out of fear and insecurity.

I really admire the people who give there time and lives to helping the handicapped experience the fullest life possible. I don't think I could do it. I prayed so many times during my wife's pregnancies for healthy, normal functioning babies. There was some shame that came with these prayers. I don't know if it is shame from God or shame from myself.

What I do know....I wish I was what I am not yet.

Over the years I have been working on it. I have made the greatest strides interacting with people with Down Syndrome. I thank God for giving me a greater spirit of love and compassion. I am also thankful for my friendship with a man whose sister has Down's. I have learned so much from them. He has rebuked me and taught me about the hurtful use of the term 'retarded.' So much so that I will not use that term to speak derogatorily about anything anymore.

But today I was reminded of how far I have to go. Like I said, a group of handicapped people came into the store today. I was impressed with their group guide and how patient she was, helping each individual to order and par for their food separately. What a great feeling those people must get when they venture out into the world and interact with it. Even if it is just buying a cheeseburger.

The Lord showed me my sin as I was dishing up the people's order. Usually I am worried about not giving a customer enough fries. Or that the fries aren't hot enough. I am worried that the customer will not come back,. Or, even worse yet, I am scared of having them confront me with their displeasure. But it was different with the handicapped people. I had no fear of them at all. And I was tempted to skimp them on the amount of fries they should receive.

I want to repent of my partiality and my unfair treatment of people vastly different than me in mind and body. And I want to ask that God would give me a new heart and new eyes for those whom the world considers the least.
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