Tranquility with Tea
Reflection – The Spirituality of Disability
Disability and spirituality have traditionally been understood as two very distinct spheres. Disability, as a health-care- related issue, belongs to health care professionals. Spirituality, as a religious-related-issue, belongs to faith-based institutions through their theologians or clerics. When in actuality, disability and spirituality have been connected with each other since creation. Maintaining a sense of separation, results in a limited collaboration between the two. In such disconnectedness, there is a disparity in the capacity to view those with disabilities as whole human beings … full members of a diverse human family.
Wholeness emerges when it is evident that values, attitudes and beliefs of disability lead toward a world of spirituality. And, considering the reverse to be true as well, the path to understanding a spiritual journey leads to experiences of disability – limitation and vulnerability. Both contend with the exploration of core questions, which are at the heart of what it means to be wholly human.
To best understand such integration, it is important to explore the spirituality in the lives of not those with disabilities, but the lives of families, those providing care, friends and the communities to which we all belong. Our prayerful Meditation and Contemplation will be created and offered by S.T.A.R. Friends – Jim and Martha Renz, who will share with us the personal story of how disability and spirituality converge in their lives.
Jim Renz is a retired pastoral counselor and educator, who suffered a major stroke in 2014. Martha Renz is Jim’s primary caregiver, a retired educator, and former spiritual formation director.
A portion of the offering collected has been designated for Emerge Family Therapy – honoring Jim and Martha for sharing their creative energy with us.