Freedom to be Complete

Of all the lessons I learned at camp I think observing true freedom at a deeper level was most impactful. From mealtime to worship – the environment was saturated with raw and wonderful freedom.

 emma's parents enjoying a meal

 

I certainly didn’t miss planning meals during the week of camp. Three times a day we filed into the dining hall for another incredible feast. There was a sense of wholeness and family at mealtime. I was enriched to share my table with people in wheelchairs and individuals requiring assistance to eat. It was surprisingly comfortable and right.

 

Freedom during assemblies and worship was phenomenal as well. Kids were free to be themselves, noise and all. Amazingly, what seemed to be a recipe for chaos brought a refreshing liberty instead. We were free to be the complete body of Christ – every member fully accepted for who they were.

 

camp worshi[p

 

Freedom is more than lack of restraint. It’s expressive, energizing and inspirational. Webster defines freedom as, “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance”.

 

One afternoon I watched a teen with Down syndrome spend a full hour talking into a cold microphone. He and his STM occupied an empty gym as Scotty spoke nonstop. Scotty is an orator and has something to say. I was envious of his unadulterated claim to such freedom.

 

Freedom doesn’t worry about what others think.

 

Camp fostered freedom through acceptance and the absence of judgment. Unfortunately people with disabilities aren’t always accepted and are often unfairly judged. Freedom gets stolen.

 

 

 jenny feels the bunny

 

We have the power to give freedom. I’m challenged by Scotty’s audacious ability to say what’s on his mind. It’s time we welcome people with differences into our everyday world so we’re free to be complete. We are not complete without the full spectrum of people groups we are as a society. All people need to be included; the crippled, lame, the blind and the different.  We’ll never be truly free until we’re all present and able to participate in all aspects of life together.

After all, they are us.

 

Freedom becomes comfortable the more we walk in it. I learned that at camp.

  

friends

 

Will you join me? Will you look for opportunities to empower people with disabilities to act, speak and be included without hindrance? Without ALL, we’re not complete.

 

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