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Saturday, November 02, 2019

I Don't Know Who Needs To Hear This, But

My diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) is most accurately described as a condition. It's not a disease; it's not progressive, except in the most indirect of senses, if one fails to manage the results of the neuro-muscular adventures one gets to go on. I can have kids, and if we do, your kids will not be disabled, at least not because of my CP.

I have the urge to say this publicly periodically. Some able-bodied people get to see CP up close, so they know.

I don't feel like giving an overly-detailed description of CP. Look it up, if you want. Some instances of CP are more severe, and some are less so.

Interesting tension exists, between wanting to be "normal," and knowing that you're not, in general, as people with disabilities. It's an interesting tendency in this society as well, to change all defect into mere difference. As we talk about inclusion and participation, what we face is not being able to define the ideal: from our bodies themselves, to society at large. Without this, we risk elevating what is accidental to being human--or even fictitious--to a fundamental expression of personal identity. [Hey, someone should write a book about that!--ed.] Hmmm.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Solid Food

I don't want to say too much, but Jesus is our brother. It's a new thing, when Jesus is no longer our fire insurance--though we never presume--and we are indeed family.

Am I ready to accept that Jesus considers me His friend and brother? Do you remember the day a younger sibling was his or her own person, and not just the kid you have to keep safe?

When warriors talk about brotherhood, it means, "I'd die for you, and you'd die for me." It's thicker than blood. It's the kind of love that men rarely speak of. We're rarely allowed to, these days.

Jesus wants me with him. This is what he meant when he said, "I no longer call you servants, but friends." I will never outgrow my need for Him, but--mystery of mysteries--it is not foolish to console Him. He did not turn away St. Simon of Cyrene; it was not a show. He was consoled. And the holy women, they consoled Our Lord, too.

If Jesus invites us to console Him, we are on the Way of the Cross. And therefore, on the way to glory.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

I Don't Believe In "The Universe." I Believe In God.

"It almost makes you believe in the universe again. Almost." First of all, in context, I'm sure Washington Nationals pitcher Daniel Hudson is a great guy. (It's not his quote.) And of course he missed World Series Game 1 to be with his newborn daughter, because that's what a good father and husband does, if he can. Secondly, whatever personal problems players on the Houston Astros have, God is not punishing the team for those. I'd love to know one day the intimate workings of Providence, in regard to individual games and their outcomes, but as it appears from here, baseball just isn't that important, in the grand scheme of things. (Don't misunderstand me; if you're reading this, I love baseball more than you do.)

Most importantly, what is so charming about some seemingly arbitrary, impersonal force? Admittedly, one sees or hears this a lot. I guess if we're tossed to and fro by impersonal forces, we're not accountable to anyone whose judgment matters, including God. Yet in reality, God has a Name, and a face. And the Holy Spirit, mind you, may be mysterious, but He's personal, if anyone ever has been.

You'd have to wonder at people's tragedies, if they'd rather believe in impersonal forces than in the God who made them. The God who gave them a name and a face, too.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Still Not Quite Right

Grief wreaks havoc. I still have a rather ambiguous relationship to eating; I do it because I have to. I graze, rather than eating big meals. It will be nice to experience the enjoyment of eating again. I know I will. No pain lasts forever, especially not in the light of eternity.

Then I feel guilty, because this grief is not in some objective sense the worst loss. I have an internet friend who could tell us all about loss and grief, and I defer to her. Yet when she says, "I will never be OK with this," that corresponds with something I understand, and it helps me.

On the other hand, I need and want the freedom to say that I'm not OK, that I have been changed somehow by grief, that in these moments, the world does not look quite the same, and in some way, it never will again.

The Lord retains the right to make something good out of bad, and in faith and hope, I expect Him to do it. But there's no rush here; if I want to cry, I'll cry, and I'll brook no debate about it.

The Enemy loves the times when I have doubted everything I thought I knew, about myself, about God, and the goodness of creation. That father of lies loves my bitterness, my resentment, my anger, and whatever bad else. If that snake can keep me from praying, it's the only chance he has.

I just hit back with the Memorare; I cast myself into the arms of Mother, and thereby, into the arms of God the Father.

I don't know what the future holds, or how to handle it. I do know that I am ever and always Jason Layne Kettinger, renewed in Christ by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and one could do worse.