Jesus you were not ableist.
What kind of diagnoses did your twelve disciples have?
Who limped, who was “ugly”
Who had voices, who had ADD or Autism or OCD?
As you healed and were asked,
What sin was committed that this person is blind?
The people asked, and, then our Savior said
None. Neither he nor his parents!
And then Jesus, you touched lepers,
those who were lame or blind or bled,
the poor, the oddly shaped and the dirty,
the ones who humans avoided even looking at–
because in our hearts of hearts,
we are so scared of disabilities that we avoid eye contact
afraid of catching it,
embarassed that we still
do not know how to interact
with people who exist differently than us.
In some ways Jesus’s resurrection
might be the scariest thing of all.
Jesus you were young and healthy,
and died anyway, and the disciples
(of course) fled death.
Except for the women,
who probably had the most intimate
relationship with death and dead bodies.
Jesus the Good News is not just that you returned
but you returned with holes in your arms and legs–
who were still wholly you, but unchanged.
You were still perfect, but your body was still yours!
What hope for those with disabilities.
It leads us to ask, are there wheelchairs and mobility aides in heaven?
Is it a place where your body is not weighty and there is no more pain,
but you are still you?
Are those with Dyslexia, ADD, OCD, Bipolar, Down Syndrome, Autism and more are–
Beloved and understood!
Jesus, I am so thankful that you got it,
that you get it,
that ableism kills
That you do not promise wealth and health!
That you do not need our bodies to be perfect for us to enter heaven–
You know Jesus I am not yet 40 and relatively healthy,
and I would definitely fail that test.
Jesus, I am thankful that as humans
make decisions that are more and more ableist
and fall more and more in the vein of a death cult–
(ignoring all those who aren’t fit or rich or whatever)
that I am hanging on
with every breath I take
that Jesus is not ableist.
And, maybe Thomas wasn’t either.
And as sure as the holes remained
in Jesus sacred body–
Holes that I am invited to touch
whenever I doubt or feel alone or scared of my own imperfections
I can breathe in
Jesus wasn’t ableist
and breathe out
And Jesus affirms all people.
Thank God for the Risen
holy, hole-y body!
Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
If you want to support my work, Please Contribute to my Doctorate in Ministry in Creative Writing at Pittsburgh Seminary. It is a degree as a Public Theologian!