Forum 2.2 - The Bible and Disability Ministry
For us all
The scripture I am stuck on is from a sermon I experienced by Bishop Carcano on the Gadarene Demoniac from Luke 8. She pointed out that when asked what his name was and he replied "Legion," we get a picture of our communal brokenness and pain. The demoniac was bearing the pain of the entire community and the community had shunned him and abandoned him in the cemetery - the land of the dead.
In listening to this story in a new light, now I am experiencing the communal nature of healing, inclusion, and empowerment and how that is not always a happy thing! When he was healed, the pigs plunged to their death and with them the economic security of the people. Healing, wholeness, inclusion comes with a price we must be willing to pay. That may look like a new way of relating to one another or speaking about abilities or a financial investment in restructuring our facilities. Ultimately it means we have to stop thinking and expressing ourselves in "us" and "them" language.
This particular passage was our topic in Sunday School this past Sunday. We were trying to focus more on the man than on the pigs, though the pigs of course got mentioned. One of the questions arose was if the man was indeed literally demon-possessed vs. having a mental illness and it being perceived as something supernatural by people who didn't have 21st century knowledge of mental illness.