Blessed are the uncool

Facebook friends shared the following link with me:

Thanks for this link. Serendipity, I suppose. A (possibly homeless) man walked down the center aisle last Sunday during the service, came right down to the front pew, said something aloud to me, that I couldn’t quite understand.  When he came in, muttering to himself, and then spoke aloud, I got into traffic cop mode, wondering why the ushers hadn’t bounced him from the service, annoyed at the disruption, worried about how visitors or members were reacting. Then he sat down, was quiet for the rest of the service, came to the altar rail and received communion in tears. His presence was a blessing to me, if to no one else.

At our midweek service yesterday, a young man attended who I suspect suffers from cerebral palsy. He had trouble finding pages in the prayerbook and speaking the responses. But we adapted to his pace and welcomed him. He’s visiting from out of town for a couple of weeks, had fallen in love with Episcopal liturgy as a college student and came to worship with us. It was a gift and a joy to have him present in our small congregation and remind us of just what Evans writes about: Blessed are the uncool.

3 thoughts on “Blessed are the uncool

  1. Dr. Grieser,

    Love your blog. And I truly do love the sentiment of both yours and Rachel’s posts.

    But a friend of mine with cerebral palsy recently got very mad at me for using the word “disability” in relation to her. She said that she doesn’t feel disabled…merely misunderstood, and not given enough space by society to exercise her gifts.

    One thing we would do well to learn is it’s not so much that church is “for the uncool” as much as it is that “all people are cool.” And it’s not that “we are all broken,” if by that we mean that we are broken “just like” people with CP or other “disabilities” are broken. It’s that people with CP aren’t broken at all — or, if they are, they are broken in the same ways we all are, and not in some special way that renders them “physically broken” whereas our broken parts are more interior.

    Just some thoughts. I like the thrust of where this is all going, but us able-bodied folks would do well to keep in mind that even our best efforts can be interpreted — most often, correclty so — as displaying an internalized prejudice against those with physical differences.


  2. I remember seeing him enter and had a passing concern as well. I turned back to the service though and, sad to say, paid him no more mind.

    Sounds as though he got more out of his visit than I did as well…

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