Updated: Apr 5
I was so excited for everyone to see the changes made in the church building this past week. Some of the men in our church took it upon themselves to build a ramp onto the stage. The ramp was used on Sunday morning by the song leader, who was using his electric wheelchair that day. I can imagine that the ramp will be used by many people in the future. For reference, there are two narrow stair steps to the stage that runs the whole length of the stage.
If you are wondering why I was excited, it was because we were making the stage physically accessible. I immediately thought about the men and women in our church body who use walking canes and wheelchairs. They can get in the building because we have various places that have ramps, but they are not able to enter just any door. When my husband had a temporary, but painful, bout of gout in his foot, he had a difficult time getting on the stage to preach. I once severely sprained my ankle as an adult, and still had to do my teaching job. To get to my classroom, I had to either walk up the two concrete steps or take the ramp. I was grateful to use the ramp everyday until my cast came off and I no longer had to use crutches.
In high school, there were a few girls in my choir who had different abilities. They had beautiful voices, but were not able to do everything physically. One girl was blind, and I was charged with helping her up the stairs on stage for a performance. We were wearing long blue taffeta dresses that required a little more grace to negotiate the stairs. I remember we tripped going up the steps because she stepped on her dress. I felt so guilty for not having done a better job. Another girl had no arms or hands, so she was clearly not able to do the hand jive and certain other choreography, but still had a very visible place in all of our shows.
There are several stories in the bible about Jesus healing people who were blind or lame or sick. When they were healed, they were able to testify of what Jesus had done for them. There were others who did not even thank him for what He had done for them. Jesus did not come to earth to just heal people of their ailments, but to bring the Good News that there is forgiveness and eternal salvation through Him who paid for our sins. We are all called to tell others about Jesus. The making of this ramp is helping more people to do that. EVERYONE can do something to spread the Gospel.
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching?15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:14-17 (ESV)