When our son Owen was born prematurely we knew that his chance of survival was low and that if he did survive it was likely that he would have significant life long disabilities. He only lived for 20 minutes. We had both Muslim friends and Christian friends imply that it was good he died so that he didn’t have to suffer life with these disabilities. I hated it when people said this, for it implied that living with disabilities was worse than death.
I’ve seen people with disabilities looked down upon in both cultures I’ve lived in: Arab and American. It seems that both “Muslim” and “Christian” cultures don’t do well in understanding that God has made us all and that he has a plan for each of us. He has made each of us, whether we have a disability or not, just the way we are.
When I saw that Krista Horning, a member of our church, wrote a book about disability I knew that I wanted to read it. When I did I had tears in my eyes as I saw the beauty and faith and hope of those with disabilities (Krista has Apert syndrome). Krista writes with profound simplicity, “God loves me just the way I am.” She adds this verse from the Psalms (Zabur), “The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made (Psalm 145:13).
I encourage you all to get a copy of Just the Way I Am: God’s Design in Disability and see the hope that God offers everyone through Jesus Christ.