I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. (John 15:11-12)
As a young believer, I had many friends. One of those friends utilized a wheelchair and had a really cool car that had been tricked out for her. As our group was leaving a ministry training event, she calls out to me, “Hey! Toss me your keys, let’s see what this car can do!” I reminded her that my car wasn’t equipped with the cool gadgets she had in her vehicle. She replied, "Maybe one day you can get a ride as cool as mine!”
For some of our friends this was an awkward exchange, but she and I laughed hysterically as she talked about switching cars one day. She used every opportunity she could to give people an opportunity to see how the Lord had blessed her in what many considered to be a “disability.”
This young woman loved the lord and enjoyed serving him, but not many churches in those days could accommodate her. And many of those churches saw her disposition as a weakness. They saw her as someone who needed help. That was not her perspective and within a few moments of being in her presence, a person would be able to sense the joy in her heart.
This story is simply one example of what happens when we are open to consider the perspective of a person who may be different from what we have considered “normal.” God has not called us to normalcy, but to unity. As many members of one body we must develop the skill of listening and learning. As we do so we will experience fresh joy.
If you would like to learn more about how to experience this kind of joy in the body, plan on participating in our next District Biblical Diversity Team Networking session. In this session we will share who the Diversity Team is and we will facilitate a conversation about how people in our district are addressing some of these “differences that don’t make that much of a difference!”
Email me for more information on how your church can get involved in celebrating diversity.
Take a look at an article written by Dr. Lewis at this link below to learn more about the foundations of biblical diversity.
Dereck Jackson, Pastor of Earthen Vessels Community Church
Dereck is the pastor of Earthen Vessels Community Church, a micro-church in Westwood, MA that launched in July 2022. Him and his wife Rebecca serve on the Converge Northeast District Biblical Diversity Team.