38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:38-42
Recently, I experienced a common micoaggression against people with disabilities. I’ll call it the bait and switch. This happens when you are told one thing only to receive another.
It happens ALL. THE. TIME.
I’ve booked hotels only to find them entirely inaccessible.
I’ve shown up at buildings and churches only to find I can’t use the restroom if I can get in at all because sometimes accessibilty means only a few stairs to some people and sometimes it means you can’t get around at all once you are inside apparently.
Both, are problems for a wheelchair user like me. It’s all very frustrating, no matter the scenario. In essence, sometimes things aren’t at all what you are told. That was the case this time.
Briefly, without going into too many details, I was going to a show. It was a rare night with friends and I was assured multiple times by the theatre management prior to the event that we would all be able to sit together only to be split up upon arrival.
Being disabled also means you can never go any place with more than one person evidentally. As bonus insight, let me explain something as succinctly as possible.
Going out as a disabled person is a huge pain in the ass. Travel is difficult. As mentioned, accommodations are rarely adequate. There’s extra planning and care at every step.
Moreover, when things don’t go as planned, I can’t adapt the way a nondisabled person might. My body and our societal structure just doesn’t allow it. I live in a world not built to include me. The result is isolation.
Between all the energy I expend personally and all that it takes from my friends collectively, who want to enjoy their rare free time too, getting together mostly doesn’t happen as a result.
That said, I’m not writing today to solve problems. There is plenty of time devoted to that in this space.
What I want to talk about instead is dealing with the emotional component of crises.
When something is happening immediately, if you are present and able, help address it. Later, when noticing problems outside immediate crisis, address that too.
When witnessing resulting grief post trauma, however, don’t attempt to solve it. Just be.
That’s why I love this scripture from Luke 10.
Though different circumstantially, Martha like many of us, gets caught up in the busyness of the moment. That’s our human nature.
Busyness allows us to stay on the surface.
It’s hard to sit deeply with someone. Yet, it’s also better.
Unlike Martha, that’s what Mary does. It’s the kind of connection that bonds, soothes, builds, and grows relationships.
There will be plenty of time to solve problems. There will never be a shortage; not for you, me, or anyone. There is absolutely a time to solve too.
There is also a time to just be. In my time of struggle that’s my heart’s greatest yearning.
Just sit with me.
Wherever you are this day: Love Accepts You, No Exceptions.
Note: Luke 10:38-42