Post by Therese Kay
Hundreds of youth recently (April 2019) gathered in Boston at a Youth Jamboree to meet with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry (of the Episcopal Church). He opened the floor to questions from the youth.
A young girl, around age 12 and visibly disabled, approached the microphone. She whispered into it: “Is God disabled?”
Now, before I share Bishop Curry’s answer, I want to share and ponder a few things.
This story was from Rev. Tom Barrington’s sermon at church this past Sunday. As he was telling the story, I literally teared up when he shared the young girl’s question.
Tom shared that his first gut reaction was no, of course not! I understand and agree with that answer.
God is omniscient, omnipotent, Ruler over heaven and earth! How could He possibly be disabled? He is fully able to do all things! Implying that God is disabled is blasphemy. It’s a lie. Right?
Bishop Curry’s answer though, was “yes”. Guess what. I understand and agree with that answer too.
When Bishop Curry answered yes, the young girl’s face lit up and she was literally beaming. He heard the question behind the question the young girl was asking. Do you hear it too?
Here’s my guess at what she was asking and why Bishop Curry’s answer was spot on.
What I think she may have been thinking: “I am disabled. I heard that I am created in the image of God but God can do everything and isn’t disabled so I must not be made in His image.”
What I think she was asking: “As a girl with a disability, am I too made in the image of God?”
Yes, yes, and a 1,000 times yes. We are ALL created in the image of God. Any permutation of humankind is made in the image of God. Regardless of physical or intellectual ability, regardless of skin color or ethnicity, regardless of any other defining characteristic, we are all created in the image of God and exactly as God wanted us to be created.
God is bigger than any box we can try and stuff Her into. She is not just male, white, and blue-eyed, though She is those things too. She doesn’t speak a particular language, have a particular nationality or political affiliation, look a certain way. She is every ethnicity, every language, every ability, every appearance.
So, yes, Bishop Curry. I agree: God is disabled. And yes, Rev. Tom. I agree: God is able to do all things.
“Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” 1 Cor.27-29, NLT
It’s our human view that considers someone disabled, but in God’s view that person is absolutely perfect just exactly as she was created, in Her image.