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From the editor
Today’s cultural trends tend toward individuality, toward what makes me me and you you. And in our quest to be unique, we strive to set ourselves apart from all the rest, to be alone, to be different.
But Jesus never intended for us to live this way. Instead, He set us into families, into communities, surrounded by those who care about us. “For just as the body is one and has many members,” wrote St. Paul, “and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” That is how Jesus would have us live: in and amongst His children, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
But we are a broken people, fighting to remain alone, where we can hide our sin, disbelief, despair and all the accoutrements that evil trio brings with it. And so Christ, knowing it was not good for us to remain this way, broke into our self-made solitary confinement, setting chaos back in to order, darkness back into light, loneliness back into company.
And in so doing, He placed us again into His body: the body of Christ. There we find sinners redeemed by His death and resurrection; sinners who are healthy and sinners bearing the cross of a disability; sinners with mental illnesses and sinners without; sinners with physical limitations and sinners with full use of their bodies; sinners who worry and sinners who are unafraid; sinners just like us.
And so in this issue, we will learn together how to care for and about all of us who are in the body of Christ. We’ll learn from college freshman Steven McCarthy, who writes about making friends with young people with disabilities right in his own church. We’ll hear from Maggie Karner, who has been tasked with chairing the Synod’s Disability Task Force.
We’ll take a peek inside the life of the Rev. Jeff Pflug, who explains how to come alongside family members who suffer the weight of mental illness. We’ll discover, with the help of the Rev. Dr. Rick Marrs, how to interact—even if it intimidates us—with our brothers and sisters in Christ who have disabilities.
And learning from the Rev. Dr. Jack Preus, we’ll be emboldened to bring Christ’s hope and promise to those around us who are eager to hear it.
“God settles the solitary in a home” (Ps. 68:6), and as He does, He places us into His family—His Church—and we are suddenly no longer alone. We may know the cross of a disability. We may not. But we are children loved by God: whole and perfect, broken no more.
Adriane Heins, Managing Editor
The Lutheran Witness