I am going to write about some subject matter in this post that I normally choose not to for various reasons, but here we go. It is 1:30 AM and I can’t keep from sharing.
So I have struggled these past few months with some major apathy in my life and my faith. I am sharing this because in this past week I have found a renewed sense of conviction. Now when I say conviction many hear guilt. That is not what I am saying though.
From a Christian aspect conviction is more like a challenge from the Holy Spirit. Being challenged to be better than what you have allowed yourself to be. So there are different areas in my life that I have felt convicted in lately, but one area is what I would like to share about tonight with my readers.
So in the ending verses of Proverbs God calls for His followers to do many things, but one line has always stood out to me. This line simply calls servants of God to be a voice to the voiceless.
Now there are many individuals in this world who are voiceless and I would be betraying my experience and my abilities if I presented myself as someone who can speak for everyone with a marginalized voice. I will love unconditionally all of these people but my ability to voice their experiences and their needs is beyond myself.
But there is a people group that I have always applied this verse in Proverbs to.
In Jon Foreman’s song “Instead of a Show” He states one single line that, to me, parallels this verse in Proverbs and always sends chills up my spine. He States: “Stand up for those who cannot stand at all”
So here I am in my bed at 1:30 in the morning and convicted. Convicted about a call I have always had and my fears in pursuing it.
For those who know me that read my blog you are aware that I was born with a Physical Disability called Muscular Dystrophy. If you want to know more about that I would be happy to share, but as for right now it is more important that you understand my experience instead of the scientific mumbo-jumbo.
In light of recent events in my life my disability has been taking over my mind and my life in ways that I have never expected. It has been hard. Really very hard of late.
To illustrate: I need a job for the summer. Not to just keep myself busy but to pay bills that I cannot afford to cover.
Imagine with me for a second an illustration of my life. Imagine searching for Part-time or full-time jobs online and having to immediately rule our 75% of the results because you are physically unable to perform the role.
So now you have a remaining 25% and from that you must rule out another 30-50% of the remaining jobs because their facilities are inaccessible. You may be a perfect fit for the position, but you are unable to even get to the position because it is on the third floor of a building without and elevators or ramps. Your options are limited and you have not even considered the fact yet that the remaining possibilities may hold a prejudice towards you and your disability. (Trust me that’s a real possibility)
Would you be frustrated? Cause I sure the hell am.
But this is reality for me. This is circumstance. This is life. I push on in spite of this.
My nephew is old enough to ask me questions now that are getting tough to answer. And he asked me something last night that in part crushed me and scared the shit out of me.
He asked me: “Uncle Matt, why do you walk different from everyone else?”
Simple and innocent. My nephew loves me and would never want to hurt me even in his curiosity. But he cannot help himself from recognizing the difference between me and the rest of society.
After taking some time to pray and think I embarked down a long road of explaining my disease to my nephew and encouraging him to care for those with disabilities that he meets throughout his life.
So here is where this all comes together. My nephew is bright. Very bright and he may not have totally understood or grasped everything I said and told him but he loves me enough to show me that he cares.
I have had it pressing on my heart for a very long time to Stand up for those who cannot stand. To be the voice to the voiceless.
To be honest most who read this will not even know what Muscular Dystrophy is and I am assuming you are not a child in grade school. Now do not take that as an offense from me. That is not what I intend. What I intend is to be someone willing to make a stand and be a voice for those who are overlooked and marginalized.
I have been especially blessed in my life by family and friends who have encouraged and challenged me beyond belief, but not all are as lucky to have a support system as such.
My desire to “do something” about this passion has little to do with my disability and finding retribution for the wrongs done to me over the years. My desire has all to do with loving those whom society has deemed less-lovable or even unlovable.
My desire stems from wanting for others to endure the challenges, the pains, the fears and the insecurities that I have lived through with a hand to hold and a shoulder to lean on.
Whether this will be through advocacy in schools, in writings or somewhere else I now am seeing more and more my need to be verbal and outspoken about what it means to live a life disabled.
Your prayers are appreciated. Your questions are encouraged. Your support is welcomed.
I ask you a question tonight. Is God convicting you? Are you running scared from a desire or passion that has been present in your life for years? If so, let’s talk.
As Always my dear readers,