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Friday, January 09, 2009

With All Due Respect: Love In A Wheelchair


I'm a fairly talkative guy. My favorite thing to do is conversation. And because I'm young and single--and pretty darn attractive--I can often be found discussing the women I know; namely, the potential for a romantic happening, if you will. A little while ago, I was discussing these matters with someone, and after a time, my friend stopped me and said something like, "Have you considered dating someone who shares your disability?" It's not the first time, and surely it won't be the last. So let me take this opportunity to answer it again. No. Emphatically, no.
I'm not the member of a victim class; I don't think about the socio-political implications of being a "disabled American" or whatever "we" are supposed to call ourselves these days. At the risk of offense, I don't care. If I am discriminated against, I'll deal with it personally. If one has issues with an entire class of people, based on skin color, disability or some other stupid reason, I find that sad. But so long as I get the goods or services I need, I'm happy. Unless by agreement, I'm no one's advocate except myself. And I only have 'solidarity' with other people who have some physical impairment insofar as we are friends and we have voluntarily chosen to comiserate about it. All people are individuals, and no one's experiences entitle them to some gnostic secret knowledge about "what it's like" for someone else. But I digress.
Let's go back to grade school, shall we? I'm very much like you. I have similar emotions, thoughts, patterns, and needs. I'm human. And like most men, I'm sexually attracted to women. Nearly all of them, I like to say. Women of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Why would you think I'd give any thought to whether she was physically impaired in some way? By asking that question, it's your subtle way of letting me know that you don't think we are alike. And that's too bad.
Personally, one of the emotional battles I fight on a daily basis--despite the fact that I believe people are just people--is whether I am so different that I am entirely unable to connect in a real way with the rest of people. But I recognize this as Satan's voice. Satan loves when we are alone, discouraged, and disconnected. Don't make my battles harder by joining your voice to his.
I have said before that I don't need someone who "understands my situation"; I need someone who loves me. If she loves me, all that she lacks in understanding will be gained by experience. That goes with any pair of people. We all have crosses to bear. If this physical impairment is one of mine, then in truth, it's the lightest one I have. The heaviest by far is simply carrying the name 'Christian,' and the commensurate awareness that I am unworthy of Him, yet called to be like him. Only when I pray to God in the name of his Son, participate in covenant renewal worship, and read the Scriptures, catching for a moment a glimpse of his glorious finished work--though in us it remains to be finished--have I even begun to have that greater weight lifted. This lesser weight, which apparently burdens watching others more than myself, is pure joy by comparison. Would that I look upon the crucified Lord for 15 more seconds each day! I don't wish to be free of this light burden; on the contrary, I would be even less devoted to God without it. There is something about having a large need, which only another stronger person can meet, that makes you humble. It makes you see how frail we are. Some of us need to be thwarted in a whole day's plans by 24 inches. Some of us need to be utterly helpless, chained by some inability. We're not the strong, the holy, the pure. We're the proud, the vile, the wicked ones. If I inspire you, you've utterly missed the point. Jesus told us more than once that God's Kingdom doesn't work like we think it does.
Another digression. I know you don't mean to marginalize me or insult me. You need to know that I'm not going to limit myself in order to make things more comfortable for you. Perhaps you fellas know I'm good competition. Or maybe you're just scared. But know this: I can count on one hand the number of physically disabled women I've been attracted to. And I'm like everyone else; I'll worry about the "special problems" when they get here.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Yes, there have been errors; there have been even tragic lapses in judgment. But surely this man has earned 1 puff-piece in 8 years. The Lord be with you, President Bush.