book review: same lake, different boat--part one

Disability has a way of taking us by surprise and stirring fear in our hearts. We're uncomfortable with the appropriate way to respond to socially awkward situations. We're afraid we'll do the wrong thing. We're inexperienced with how to help.

In her completely honest and in her sweet, coming-alongside-you manner of hospitality, Stephanie Hubach puts her arm around each individual who has a heart to learn about meeting the needs of individuals and families touched by disability and gently shepherds us in theologically-based, throughly practical applications of Biblical love exercised in the Body of Christ.

Beginning by establishing a Biblical view of disability as "a normal part of an abnormal world" (as contrasted with the historical or modern view as "an abnormal part of a normal world" and the postmodern view as "a normal part of a normal world"), Steph identifies "disability [as] essentially a more noticeable form of the brokenness that is common to the human experience" (29). We live in an abnormal world, the result of the Fall of man. Were it not for the effects of sin, there would be no disability. That is not at all to say that there is a direct causal factor with an individual or family's experience with disability; in fact, the Gospel is very clear that God ordains disability in the lives of some for the sole purpose of displaying His work in their lives for their benefit and the benefit of others (see John 9:1-3).

One of the gem-like truths of Scripture that Stephanie repeatedly holds to the light is the fact that we are all created in the image of God. If we believe this, that each individual to varying degrees reflects God's image, we will value the sanctity of human life and will both cherish and respect one another. I love the picture Steph uses to illustrate this concept: "the image of God within each individual can be likened to a mirror that reflects God's glory, in part, to others. Unmarred at creation, what an incredible and awesome reflection that must have been! In a world now impacted by the fall, each person's mirror is cracked, yet all the pieces still remain. Consequently, the looking glass reflects a distorted view of God's glory--but it remains a partial mirror of him just the same. Our struggle enters in because we find it so much easier to identify the cracks in the mirror, and so we miss the image entirely. It takes a conscious effort for us to concentrate on the most fundamental blessing of creation--that we are all created in the image of God--and to gaze speechlessly at his goodness, truth, and beauty in others. Yet lives are radically transformed--ours and those around us--when we intentionally choose to focus on the image of God within" (46). I love that!

To hear author Stephanie Hubach talk about these topics, click on the title above. I plan to continue this review in subsequent posts, but that ought to whet your appetite for now.

Praying for you as you digest this information,
michelle

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