Tuesday, June 6, 2017

I Also Can Become Disabled

In Korea two and half million citizens are in some way disabled. That's 5 percent of the population:  one in every twenty. Among the handicapped 10 percent were born with the handicap and the other 90 percent acquired it after birth. 50 percent came with sickness and the other 40 percent were due to accidents. This number continues to grow.

An article in a diocesan bulletin written by a handicapped person introduces the readers to a situation we meet in every society. The care and rehabilitation of the handicap is a big part of government welfare.

He mention the government's efforts over many years to improve the lives of the handicapped. Many laws promulgated to help the handicapped, but before this we need the citizens' understanding free of prejudice and even more important is the handicapped persons' need to free themselves from an inferiority feeling and to attain a strong will to live a full life.

The writer mentions his own history of becoming a disabled person. Because of cancer he was operated on to remove cancerous tissue and lost a great deal of his bone structure and for a  period of 4 years was in and out of the hospital 30 times. He began associating with the handicapped and ended up giving lectures on the board game Go and teaching ping pong.

He concludes his article with the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John:  9:1-3. "As Jesus  went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind? Neither he nor his parents sinned. Jesus answered, he was born  blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him." 

He often meditated on this passage in the past but never was able to get a satisfying understanding of the meaning. It was after becoming disabled himself that he was able to have a faint glimmer of what Jesus was saying. He was crying and laughing with the disabled and relating as friends with them. He was their hands, and feet. Wasn't this what Jesus was saying?

The handicapped need financial assistance but more important is to be friends with them: liberating them from alienation and loneliness of life.  They need others to share with then and to be friends with them.

When it rains it's necessary to prepare the umbrella for them but to foolishly walk with them in the rain is an important message and welcomed.

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