A Focus on People with Disabilities

This weekend our church service was focused on disabilities.  People with disabilities who attend Lake participated in the service by leading congregations prayers, reading Scripture and special music.  They also brought in the in the Barrick family to share their story.  In my experience it’s not often that churches highlight people with disabilities (beyond announcements in the bulletin looking for volunteers for the classes they offer for those with disabilities). I am confident every person worshiping last night could comment on  what a moving service it was.

As we were driving home from church last night, Than summed it up well when he said ” People with disabilities have the opportunity to glorify God in unique ways that others don’t have.”

No doubt the words I use here will not be able to even begin to capture the sweet spirit of worship in last night’s service.  As a young lady sang “I Can Only Imagine” there was barely a dry eye in the place.  While overcome with a bit of stage fright she persevered and sang her heart out.  She sang with incredible passion and with absolutely no reservations. She danced for joy.  She fell to her knees in worship.  What an incredible blessing she was in sharing her talent to lead us in worship!

I won’t try and capture the Barrick’s story here on this blog (see link above or check out their book Miracle for Jen) but I do want to share what resonated most with me from their powerful testimony.  The family was hit head-on by a drunk driver going 80 miles per hour.  They all sustained significant injuries and their daughter Jen with the most life-threatening.  She wasn’t expected to make it through the night.  God spared her life and through the healing process (she still lives with a brain injury), while Jen was unable to respond to verbal commands or to communicate with family or friends, she was consistently communicating verbally in prayer with God.  She was engaged in conversation with Him, her prayers consumed not with pleading but with PRAISE!

So much of their story just blows my mind, but the thing that resonated with me the most is how while Jen had to re-learn everything from swallowing, to brushing her teeth, to walking, reading and writing…. She still remembered Scripture she had hidden away in her heart and songs of praise!

It’s amazing to see how the treasured words from God’s Word never left her heart. When we meditate on and memorize God’s Word, we aren’t just filing it away like other facts in our brains.  No…  The Word of God transforms our hearts and permeates to the very deepest part of our being.  And like in Jen, God will bring those treasured words to the surface when we need them the most.

I have hidden your word in my heart…. Psalm 119:11

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