Saturday, September 5, 2009


Differences in people are so vast that there really isn't a description to account for them all. Today we use the words 'special needs.' but again this term is so very broad. So broad that it is nearly impossible to describe everyone who "fit" this particular term as if some are and are not in this frame...I like the fact that we are all different creations, made by God in His image...True, no human is identical including identical twins as the twin studies have shown, but differences are many in the human condition. As we look around there are tall and every variation of tall from the very to the just a little bit. Shortness has its terms too as does weight, looks, intellect, abilities and more...we have descriptive terms and ideas about who and what is a proper way of seeing the differences around us including cultures and races as well.

"I am human!" screamed the tormented, frightened John Merrick as he is literally chased by a mob of men in his day who are shocked and drawn to him~his life of being different or with special needs was of inordinate condition. So disfigured he lived and dealt with life with its circumstances as best he could as he could. While I am not an authority on his life, I have been moved by the film concerning his life, The Elephant Man (1980) truly to tears. What torment for a soul who found so little grace and mercy in his life! I found in what reading I've been able to do on his life a call to reach within to find a way, deep and honest to look at how we deal with differences in people. All people, all differences. I have no idea if the quote is accurate from his mind or if such a circumstance he found himself as portrayed in this film, but I do know that people, all people do deserve dignity and respect and honor from all of us for whatever human condition we may find each other.

It's true that there is so much hype over the death of yet another famous person in our society who has died at the hands of drug addiction. But I am considering more than this person's life and end, but what had to have been a huge challenge in living with the disfigurement of vitiligo. Vitiligo as so much is discussed since this celebrity's passing, affects persons with a condition that destroys pigment in the skin leaving it with "spots" or albino looking patches. I have known persons with such, and it's very disfiguring. These folks were some of the best you'd ever want to I am not generalizing, but being very specific about the people I knew personally. But in thinking about differences, it has led me to consider someone who somewhat like Merrick, but certainly the similarities may end here in that this 20th century famous person had money and prestige, Merrick while also in the public eye had none. No fortune to remedy his condition or to alter it...but what courage to do so and step forward as best one best anyone can...and people everyday step forward with their differences to face society with altered or unalterd differences~not saying they should be alterd, just observing that some do alter...

I'd like to see more compassion and acceptance for differences among humanity. I know that this is a place that is virtually unreachable in the human condition alone because we all have preferences and ideas about who and what we can accept. But I believe that as we recognize each human being as created in the image of God~God who breathed the breath of Life into man so that man became a living soul makes acceptance of differences a much greater possibility in our world. Do I seek to become one who says there is no standard? Do I say there should be no differences? I don't think we can deny either standard or difference, but we must recognize the Creator and His righteous position to create whomever He choses. . .and treat those with such differences as unique from ourselves with the respect the Creator expects for His creation.

Throughout time and in a not too distant past those who were seen as unique were persecuted, and really in some ways this is still true today..can't we offer the olive brance of peace and the grace of our Lord to those who are unlike us? Oh, don't assume I am exclusively talking race relations either, while this issue is included here, it's NOT my sole purpose...I seek to call out to all about every difference from each of us in our own differences to offer that peace and grace to our fellow man letting God be judge and exactor of all justice in His righteousness not's walking by faith~seeing humanity as God does...

"Let me see this world dear Lord, as though I were looking through Your eyes!"
A world of men who don't want You, Lord..
A world for which You bled and died..."

God's concern with humanity is not so shallow as we make it for ourselves, and we must look to Him to help us overcome whatever prevents us from fully embracing those with differences~whatever they are~In His Name!

Lady Graceful

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