Sunday, March 06, 2011

A Different David

It is a rarity that I publish work by other people here on Rolling Around In My Head. Sometimes I get submissions for publication but usually they are promotional in nature or advertisements dressed up as a blog post. Most often, when I publish something by someone else, it happens by accident. As is today's blog. In response to something I wrote here, I received an email from Barbara Mason. We don't know each other, have never met, have never corresponded - but by the magic of the world of blogging, we connected. She send me a letter to send along to the Sunday School teacher. I liked her letter, asked her for permission to publish it along with her name. She agreed. Here it is, without a single edit, we'll meet again after she signs off.

Hi Dave,

I read your blog regularly, and I was really impressed by Wednesday's post titled "A Little Bit of Thread". It got me thinking about faith and disability, and I remembered a story I was taught several months ago in which a person with a disability was valued in the Bible. Not because his disability could allow God to demonstrate powers of healing, but just because he was who he was. I thought if you'd like, you could also pass it along to the teacher of the integrated Sunday School class.

The story is found in 2 Samuel, chapter 9. King David had just taken over Saul's kingdom. Historically, it was quite normal for a new king (especially a conquering king) to come into the palace and kill anyone who had any kind of relationship to the former king. However, David was best friends with Jonathan (Saul's son), so at the beginning of the chapter, he says "Is there anyone left in the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan's sake?" And there was - Jonathan's son, a man named Mephibosheth, who was "lame in both feet". Instead of killing him or banishing him, which would have been normal for someone like David, David restored all of Mephibosheth's lands to him, and had him eat at the king's table every night.

I like this story not only because it demonstrates mercy and kindness, but also because a person with a disability was valued for who they are. There was no healing in this story, no miraculous cure. But this person was valued for who he is, and actually brought out of a place of banishment (Mephibosheth was previously staying in Lo-Debar, literally translated "no place") and redeemed to a place of value and importance.

Thanks for doing what you do. All the best,

I appreciated this letter because I am deeply interested in all things disability. This is a story I had never heard and never really noticed when I'd read it. Probably because I read it before disability and things like this just slipped my notice. I like the message that Barbara takes from this. I like the fact that the 'miracle' was acceptance and welcome. I like that a lot!
Thanks Barbara for giving me a day off from blogging!


Kristin said...

What a wonderful story. I'm going to have to go look it up and read it because I too somehow missed it's importance when I read it the first time.

Alison Cummins said...

"Best friends"? That's a new one. An opportunity missed!