Thursday, May 19, 2022
Prejudice is a sin. But I would be wrong to assume that none of us are prejudiced. We may not be prejudiced in certain areas, like race, but we may be prejudiced about other things – like disabilities.
Leviticus 19 :15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”
We all need someone in our lives who will help us conquer prejudicial tendencies. People with enough courage to speak truthfully to us can make a difference. My friend Dudley Donaldson discovered such a friend, and it’s made a huge difference in his life. Here’s his story…
“My first year in the dorms at UW-Madison, I kept noticing a guy in a wheelchair in the cafeteria. He was very small, his body contorted and hunched over. He struggled to feed himself and depended on others to get him around from place to place. But I noticed he always had a group of fellow students around him. They were always laughing and talking together and this guy in the wheelchair was obviously an important part of the group. Coming from a very sheltered home life, I felt very uncomfortable around people different from me. This guy made me very uncomfortable, so I made it my practice to always avoid him. I’m ashamed to admit that whenever I saw him, I would go the other way. My second year, as I moved into my new dorm room, I noticed that the door right across the hall from me had a little handicapped symbol on it. I thought, “Oh no.” But it couldn’t be, could it? It could, and it was! That same guy in the wheelchair lived right across the hall from me! I tried to ignore him, but it was impossible. Impossible because he came knocking on my door, introducing himself. His name was Bob. I soon came to learn that he loved Jesus with all his heart. The people I always saw with him in the cafeteria were Christian friends, involved with the Navigators. Soon I was pulled into that same group and for the first time I experienced the love of Christian friends my age. Bob and I became very close friends. He was truly an inspiration to me. Everyone could see how difficult everyday life was for him. His twisted little body was difficult to look at, even after getting to know him. But the love of Jesus shown in his eyes and through his life. On the back of his wheelchair he had a bumper sticker that read, “I’m eternally grateful to Jesus!” Wow, talk about a testimony! I always assumed Bob was content to be in that chair and accepted it as just the way it was, but one day he told me that he often had a dream where he was walking on a beach with a girl, holding her hand. As we talked, I realized that the joy Bob expressed in his life wasn’t because he was naturally a joyful person. It was because of his relationship with Jesus Christ. His daily life was a horrible struggle, but still Jesus was his joy. Bob taught me so much about “walking” with Christ. He taught me to be eternally grateful to Jesus. And I’m eternally grateful to God for leading me to my good friend, Bob.“
In Christ, sin and its consequences have been abolished. In Christ, we are spiritually healed from all sin’s disabilities. In Christ, the inside is made holy, so the outside is acceptable. Hallelujah! Bob is living proof. Dudley now understands. Prejudice is being conquered.
We must guard against making decisions about people until we know who they are on the inside. We can all be thankful Jesus did that with us.