Accessibility is one of the challenges I face in living with a disability. In terms of physical access I navigate around using a power chair. There are times when I have attended a meeting or social function where the meeting place was inaccessible. Either there were stairs outside the building or no elevator to get to the right floor. There have been times where I’ve taken the road because there was no curb cuts on the sidewalk. Ninety percent of my friend’s places are not wheelchair accessible so we meet at my place or a coffee shop. Even though accessibility in the Lower Mainland has greatly improved it is still limited for people with disabilities.
In terms of emotional accessibility of others, I find that people who are open minded and conscientious are more accepting of me as a person with intelligence and personality. I have a speech impediment which sometimes makes others hesitant to talk with me because they are afraid they won’t understand me or don’t have the time to listen. For the most part I can be understood, it just takes a bit of time and patience but once you are acquainted with my speech pattern it becomes less of a barrier. This has been an ongoing obstacle for me especially in the pursuit of employment opportunities.
However with God, He’s always fully accessible. It’s a completely different world of which I so immensely enjoy! I never have to wonder how receptive He will be. I don’t have to climb any stairs or prove my intelligence. With Him I am free to be myself. God doesn’t put up any barriers.
Unfortunately, I am the one who puts the barriers up with my emotions or unwillingness. The beauty of having a disability is that I have learned to let go. To become more open to the Holy Spirit and rely more on God’s strength as it is more resilient than mine. You know what the best part is? We all have equal access to Him and to the blessings of His anointed Spirit!
Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.
“Equal access.” I like that, Lucy. It’s an obvious truth but one I hadn’t thought about. You’re right. Your disability is an ability–to understand and notice things that others of us don’t. Thanks for pointing it out.
When we get to heaven let’s run up and down the stairs together!
What stairs? Plan to fly!