God said No

 The colourful little sticker says :

“Casual Day Celebrate Diversity with Persons with Disabilities”  

Butterfly SA

The purpose of the sticker serves as a motivation for the South African
public to be aware of those with disabilities, and the many kind-hearted charities that work hard to ease the life of those who know and live with disabilities.

So on the first day of September you will be excused for wearing your “takkies” to work, as long as you display the sticker you bought to support those Disabled among us.   A lovely fun gesture, that knits community together.

I remember watching the TV broadcast on the Para Olympic Games held in London in 2012.    Among the nations of the world there is none that can hold pageantry like the English.    It was  a magnificent display of courage and of hope to see those with Disabilities reach for their dreams.

Hope is intrinsic to human beings.   God has designed us that way.  He has built into each one of us faith hope and love.  And when life happens, to some harshly, to others not so much, and when things don’t work out the way we had planned , we are still left with hope.  There is always hope, that helps us to carry on regardless.   And this is what we are given by those with Disabilities.   They are hope-carriers.

They are a very costly gift to humanity.

Observing those with disabilities brings us to the threshold of suffering, and the age-old question arises “why does a good, loving God allow suffering ?”

broken glass

Just for today,  I hope we can pause, and remember those with Disabilities in our own families, in our communities, see them through new eyes, and be a little kinder to them.
The following little writing was sent to me, and I am passing it on to you.  Unfortunately I cannot acknowledge the writer as I do not have a name.  When I read it, it brought to me a smile and a tear, all at the same time….. and perhaps too a little more understanding.

GOD  SAID  NO !

I asked God to take away my habit,
God said, No it is not for Me to take it away, but for you to give it up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole
God said, No his spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience,
God said, No patience is the by-product of tribulations, it isn’t granted, it is learned.
I asked God to give me happiness,
God said, No, suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me.
I asked God to  make my spirit grow,
God said, No you must grow your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.
I asked God to help me love others, as much as He loves me.
God said,  Ahh,  finally you have the idea.
This day is yours, don’t throw it away.
God bless you.
broken mug

 

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LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE

 

Living in the Slow Lane has its benefits.  It means taking your time, going where you will, and some days can be filled with random encounters – some of which are co-incidences and some of which are God-incidences, and then having the time to digest which is which.   Such is life in the Slow Lane.

Life is full of transitions.  I have come to accept that I now live in a solitude cottage, in the slow lane, in the area of random encounters.  And it is an exciting place to be, if you have eyes that see and ears that hear.

Just the other day I went up the hill to the big grocery store to do a bit of shopping.  I noticed the pop-up stall of the Sunfield Home School that was having a fund-raising event.  I remembered a friend who had a son with a disability who was in the home.  Thought I’d linger, but changed my mind and went on to do some leisurely shopping.

But coming out of the store I thought I heard a voice calling to me, and when I turned there was a young man urging me to buy a sticker for Casual Day.   I could see that he was disabled, yet so polite, so charming, so earnest, that I was hooked.  He escorted me to the till table and said he would reserve a sticker for me, but I could also make a donation into the big box on the table, or “if you like take a stroll around the table and buy some of the handwork made by the students”   ….  so polite, and no pressure !   I said that I liked to shop and will take a stroll around the table.  I picked up a few trinkets and came back to the till table, where a young girl with an absolute winning smile, was ready to take my money.   But Mr Marketing Entrepreneur was waiting for me with the reserved sticker.   I said “what must I do with the sticker?”   He said on the 1st of September I could wear casual clothes and then put on the sticker.   The Principal of the school was at my elbow and he explained Casual Day to me, as I obviously did not know when, or anything else about Casual Day.

Casual Day is a day when you may donate money to a disability charity, get a sticker, wear casual clothes, and so become aware of the World of Disabilities.   Enlightened, I paid the girl with the winning smile for the sticker, my trinkets  and gave Mr Marketing Entrepreneur the change to put in the Donation Box.  He was delighted, as was the Principal, who immediately put my name on their data base.

Marketing well done, they had caught a fat fish.   But the kind Principal at my elbow, told me more about the Home School and their work.   As their School was in a country environment I asked if they had a vegetable garden.  And indeed they do, and a veggie tunnel too.   Way to go !
When I mentioned that Mr Marketing Entrepreneur, who I saw was listening,  had  such an air of charm and confidence,  I had to turn to him to say  ” You are a Super Star.”  If I thought that the words were going to make an impression I was wrong.  He immediately deflected the compliment to the girl with the winning smile at the till table, and said “And what about her ?”   I looked in her direction and said  “You too are such a Super Star”, …. and was quickly rewarded with that winning smile.

As I turned to walk off I heard the Principal say,  give her a Sunfield sticker, and Mr Marketing Entrepreneur came over and pressed a tiny white sticker on my blouse that said  ‘Sunfield Home School thanks you’.  And he gave me a quick hug.  Wow !  I walked away feeling I had been in the company of angels.

I am quite sure that there were angels standing by that pop-up stall, even if they were in the form of the Principal or Carers.  At every turn there was someone who explained either the sale goods or the aims of the School.   The students were not left on their own to man their stall.  The support team was on the spot to assist.
But I suspect that there were other angels too – those of a heavenly feathery kind, for I had felt the light feathery brush of an angel wing as I walked away.   A random encounter, and a God-incident indeed !

Slow Fast Lane

The World of Disabilities is not often seen in the Fast Lane.  It is far to busy, to fast and to insensitive there. But those who have been on the fringes of the World of Disabilities would agree with a quote from the  educators of the Sunfield Home School :

“recognise that the disabled learners have more abilities than disabilities” 

So for one brief moment of the year, the first day of September, remember the Disabled, dress casual and wear a sticker that may just say  “but there for the grace of God go I.”

 

angel feather