Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Disability and Bearers of Grace: Jon’s Gifts (2 Corinthian 12:9–10)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Friday, 24 March 2017

Week 4: Human Beings—Not for Sale1

Week 4, Day 6

“The Collect for the Fifth Sunday after Epiphany,” The Book of Common Prayer

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Disability and Bearers of Grace: Jon’s Gifts (2 Corinthian 12:9–10)

Tim and Fiona Harris, Anglican, Australia 

[B]ut he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. 

Our son Jon is 31. He has the mental age of a five-year-old, can at times be quite anxious and finds it hard to keep up with the pace of this world. He is a gift of God, and a remarkable bearer of God’s grace.

Jon has the capacity to show a quality of love and friendship that is all too rare in this world. He is not unique in this. People with disability frequently demonstrate these qualities. They take delight in the achievements of others, and share the joys of their friends’ small victories.

Jon has his struggles, and can be quite draining at times. He is no angel. But he does have a deep faith, a wonderful prayer life, loves the Bible (although he cannot read), and Jesus speaks to him in his dreams.

One of Jon’s greatest delights is in the greeting of peace in our church. He works the room, seeking out those who are often overlooked. To receive a hug from Jon is a deeply enriching moment.

Jon is Jon. In many ways, we would not have it otherwise. Of course we dream of a life where he has greater freedom, fewer anxieties and can keep pace with others. Yet God’s gifts through Jon witness profound human qualities to us and come to us as an invaluable bearer of grace. Human value systems are superficial by comparison. We love having Jon in our lives and are blessed with the grace of God in and through his life.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”