Sometimes the guys I support want to hold my hand or sit beside them while they lie on their bed. Sometimes they want me to massage their neck or arms. I feel a bit awkward doing those things to be honest. Maybe it is because of their honesty and forthrightness about what they want from me. The fellows I work with can’t communicate very easily with words. They don’t always seem to understand all the things I say to them, but I’m not sure since they don’t answer back usually. Sometimes they do what I am asking sometimes not.
I wonder if hands reaching to hold mine is like God calling to Moses. Here I am, I reply. God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush. God wasn’t just an idea or a concept. God’s presence was in the bush. Confounding and confusing. When Moses asks what name he should call God by, God gives an even more confusing and mysterious name.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God co-eternal and con-substantial. He is confusing and confounding. He is challenging and terrifying. He is mysterious and beautiful. When I am supporting people with intellectual disabilities I realize the truth and importance of orthodox Christian theology. The Incarnation, The Cross and Passion and the Bodily Resurrection are Good NEWS, not just some good idea. Rights and privileges are not Jesus’ main concern it doesn’t seem to me. He heals the sick and lame. He raises the dead. He prevents a woman from being stoned to death. He cares about people’s bodies. If I can, at my job, show care and concern for the vulnerable men I support, for their bodies then perhaps even in my stumbling weakness, I am sharing the Good News. Not a good idea about their rights or a good idea about a better funding formula but the Good News that God is with us right here in our bodies. Even if our bodies don’t do what we wish they would do, or look how we wish they looked or even do what we don’t want them to do… God is present with us.
It is Holy Week now, and we are journeying towards The Crucifixion, the torture and death of Jesus’ body. His Holy and broken body hanging on a cross of wood for all to see and mock and pity and stare at in horror and sorrow. That is God holding our hand. He is asking where we are.
Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God