It had not been my attention to write a blog for Ash Wednesday and to be honest with you I can not think of an obvious link with what I have to say and the solemnity of today but non the less I have been haunted by these thoughts all day so decided I'd best listen and write them down.
Contrary to popular belief there is no longer a register of disabled people here in the UK but there is however, a register of visual impairment. To me that has always seemed unfair and in it's self discriminatory.
I remember the day I was registered blind, I stood in the hospital car park, cursing God, cursing the consultant who had just put me on the register and cursing life it's self.
But amidst all the anger I remember striking a deal, contract if you like. I did not want the labels of blind or disabled but in that moment I promised myself that this was to be a contract between me and society. If indeed I had to be a blindy, then by Got I sure as hell was going to be the best damn blindy I could be. In return for putting me on the register against my will society was also entering in to a contract with me. If I must wear the label of blindy that society was forcing me to wear then I'd make sure society fulfilled it's obligations to me as a blind person, it would give me the support that I needed to live the best life that was open to me, support in the forms of disability benefits, training, a guide dog, some dignity and respect.
I have to tell you that in my opinion society has broken that contract time and time again and I have spent the intervening years determined to hold society to account for breaking that contract.
For me, I built this model on the story of the cross. Jesus entered in to a contact with the father, one of those contracts that he would not have chosen, a contract which would by our freedom in return for his suffering, a contract which in my life I see being fulfilled over and over each day.
I've talked elsewhere on this blog about the Disneyfication of Jesus. For me there can be no redemption without the shitty bits.
Being blind on your own can be exceedingly shitty, being blind walking with Jesus does not diminish the shit, it simply meansthe shit no longer matters.