When I first watched Daddy Owen & Denno performing it live on TV I was touched in a way I can’t explain – my prejudices were exposed. Now, I had never discriminated against physically challenged people and I certainly didn’t consider myself a bigot, but there was a ‘something’ I felt – a certain uncomfortable feeling I had when interacting with them. It was obviously because of them being different from me.
Before that I remember being in a matatu once and seeing a paraplegic man driving his jua kali wheel chair on the roundabout near Retail Market and feeling him. Here he was, against major odds, facing life with confidence and earning a living as a productive member of society. I thought to myself how his remarkable conquering spirit could only come from God himself. How else can a human being – fallible and living in such a broken world – ever overcome such circumstances? It has to be God. HE created each of us in His own image and put a special purpose in us. Then there’s the devil who comes to steal, kill & destroy…he doesn’t stop, keeps trying so overcoming the obstacles he brings our way can only be done by the help of God.
Later, I was attending Nite Fest, an overnight praise and worship meeting with Pastor Pat & Jane Njoroge at Charter Hall. If you’ve never attended any of those sessions, they are the most unplugged, liberating moments in the presence of God. The praising and celebration never stops and it doesn’t matter if you can’t dance – God treasures all our efforts. Anyway, we were doing the song “Wakhambanati” (Pastor Pat style) and there was this gentleman with a walking disability a few rows behind me who walks with the aid of crutches. I wept as I watched him proudly and unashamedly marching back and forth declaring along with everyone that God walks with him.
On March 30th this year, a colleague shared how when she’s driving, she is always praying for people she passes by on the street as God touches her to do so. Troubled, she has often cried out to God about their purpose because she believes no one was born useless. That day when I was praying, I cried out to God about my autistic niece because I believe God has also created her for a purpose. My attitude towards her condition changed forever that day. While I had always prayed for her, now I was doing it differently. Something had shifted.
Yesterday as I listened to “Mbona” on Truth FM’s countdown, I wept as I recalled the stigma my niece & her parents have experienced over time because of her condition. Don’t people realise that she too is a human being, precious to God and created for a special purpose? Can’t they see that her parents have big dreams for her, the same way they have big dreams for their children? Can we also see those with disabilities as God’s precious children, created with a purpose too? Shouldn’t we also realise that they are just like us, with big dreams and plans for their own lives?
I believe that these are some of the “foolish” things that God uses to shame the “wise”, all for His glory. Amen.