Due to my cerebral palsy, I get a handful of stares and curious people asking questions whenever I go out in public. This doesn’t bother me 100% of the time if you catch me on a good day. The thing is, when you’re disabled, you feel like you're an exhibit at a museum.
I get that people are curious, and I welcome the ability to educate them. However, you need to understand that I get the same questions over and over, so it does get exhausting. I will say though, that I prefer questions over stares. That being said, there is one thing I don’t find so pleasant: when people come up to me and ask if they can pray for me.
Yes, I am a Christian, and yes prayer is a wonderful thing, but in the context of these situations it is not necessary. I’m just out living my life, so when people ask me if they can pray for me, it’s uncomfortable. I don’t know them and they don’t know me. I know they mean well and come from a place of love, but I’d prefer you not. I don’t need to be cured and I’m not dying. God is using my current situation and body for his glory. Why can’t we just accept disabled bodies without the idea that they need to be cured?
When my boyfriend and I were in the city recently, I had a woman ask if she could pray for me. I hesitantly said “uh okay... “ I don’t really remember much of what she said, but she did say, “Lord please continue to help the medication work, and help her to enjoy all the time she has left.” WHAT??? My conditions thankfully won’t kill me. My point is, people that pray in public for you often don’t know anything about the conditions you have. Why assume I’m terminally ill? I’m sure I made the woman happy by agreeing, but if people are going to pray for disabled people, pray for others too.
Image credit: Kayla Ruesseler