13th December - People with physical disabilities

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.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

My hands are not my friends. They are shaky, they tremor, there are days when even moving a fork full of food from my plate to my mouth is something of a challenge. My hands and I do not communicate well. They overreach, fall short, and weave left and right when I am trying to get them to pick something up or touch something.

At least my hands are of some use to me, but babies' hands are just pudgy blobs of flesh. Of course, the way those miniature hands grasp your finger when you touch their palm is an inexpressible delight, but other than that, babies' hands are the epitome of powerlessness.

But compared to God's hands, "hands that flung stars into space," aren't everyone's hands just as powerless? Compared to God, we are all disabled, we all have pudgy baby hands.

This makes what God does in becoming flesh and dwelling among us even more amazing. In order to reach out to us weak blobs of flesh, he actually became one too. Imagine the indignity of the Almighty Ruler of the Universe not even being able to rule his own bowel movements. How much did the Lord of Hosts do just to reach out a dimpled hand to us?

Ben Allison is an ordinand at Cranmer Hall, and has written a section in the Inclusive Church book on Disability.

Daily prayer

Father God, help us to live incarnational lives. Help us to always look to go as far as you did to reach out to others. Help us to make messy, risky, unreasonable adjustments to our churches so that disabled people are included in every aspect of our worship and community. In the name of your son, Jesus who dwelt among us.


Lord, in this time of Advent open our hearts to those who feel excluded from Your church.
Help us draw in those on the margins and place them in the centre of our family.