To Give All You Have: Virtue for Spoonies

they give all they have_ virtue for spoonies

When you think of virtue and disability, you probably think of videos of able-bodied people acting kindly towards people with disabilities. We don’t usually tell the stories of persons with disabilities practicing virtues. But they do.

There’s a community of people living with disabilities called Spoonies, so called because they relate to the idea that people with disabilities have fewer negotiable resources in a given day. [Read the Spoon Theory here.] I’d like you to think about Spoonies as Jesus might see them.

There’s a story in the Gospels of Jesus watching the people give offerings at the Temple. Some rich people were coming forward with ostentatious riches to offer. But Jesus noticed a widow woman who put only two mites into the offering. What did he say about her? Her offering was greater than all of the others, because she out of her poverty gave all she had. It’s the same with Spoonie Christians.

This is not to say that able-bodied Christians lack gifts to give. Of course they have plenty to give! But we need to make sure not to ignore the offering of everything that many Spoonies make in order to simply show up at church.

Don’t get me wrong. People with disabilities are often profoundly talented, and all are gifted with graces from God. But when you look at the offerings they make in terms of Spoons, they give all they have.

This is good for abled Christians to consider. When your church members with autistic children show up to church, they are giving all they have. When your church member with debilitating arthritis shows up to church, she’s giving all she has. That man with a vision impairment is giving all he has. That child with gene deletions who cries through the service is giving all he has. These are offerings acceptable to the Lord.

Don’t turn them away.

2 thoughts on “To Give All You Have: Virtue for Spoonies”

  1. I cried when I read this, having been a spoonie for many years. At the worst of those it was a huge effort to come to church even in a wheelchair because I was in such pain. There were times that the pain medicine would make me nod off during Vigil on Saturdays. Many people were kind to me, but there were others who just saw me as in the way. I wish all could read this! 💕

  2. My son is an adult (30y/o) with autism. We were received 13 years ago, and, in that time, I think that he has certainly demonstrated to other parishioners and visitors that his entry into worship is a sacrifice for himself and for all of us, given his desire to keep up with the singing and his giant crossing of himself. I am told that this is a blessing to many. Thank you for sharing these ideas.

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