And with that my mind busied again, trying to glean the wisdom that God was showing me through this circumstance. I began to wonder what ways I’m carrying my child, building my strength while stunting his growth.  Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, struggle often plays a key role in our growth, but struggle is also meant to be shared (Romans 12:15).    How do I know whether I am sharing a burden too big for another or just bearing a load they are meant to carry?

Opening Our Eyes to Injustice

My family once decided to go to Block Island for the day. Once there, we realized Block Island was not the place to go with my brother who was mostly dependent on the wheelchair to get him around. We had him get out and walk upstairs to get into one store but after that, he spent the day in the library, one of the only accessible buildings there. If I had gone to Block Island with just my husband and not my brother, I may not have noticed how the environment was so unfair to my brother. I think this is probably true of many injustices. Unless we walk beside someone who is being treated unfairly, we may not even notice the curbs and stairs (literally and figuratively) that are keeping them out of places that we can so easily go.

Questioning authority

People willing to recognize the limits of their power and authority prove worthy of my trust. These people are willing to be challenged, recognizing that they have as much to learn as they have to teach. I hope to be a person like this. One who never holds onto my certainty so tightly that I am blind to my own limitations. One who listens, really listens when others challenge me. One willing to humbly refers them to someone who knows more. One who is willing to lay down my power and authority for another’s well-being.  

Social Work Reflections

...I know that sometimes my motives can be more selfish. I can choose to help so that others will look at me as kind or because I am afraid to say no when asked. Or I can choose to help others because it makes me feel better about myself, painting myself as the “hero” and others as the “victims,” causing more harm than good. I want to choose to help so that others can flourish, choosing to put aside any authority that I may have, both that which I’ve earned through hard work and that which was gained by luck of circumstances, so that others too can experience true flourishing.

Do you remember the first time you rode a bike without training wheels? Maybe your dad or mom pushed you down the road promising not to let go until you were ready. You never thought you were ready, but they let go anyway. And maybe you rode off into the sunshine and never looked back. Or maybe, like many, you fell down.

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