A lone skeleton hunched over on a park bench holding her heart in one hand, covered in alkali dust, beckoned to me in the middle of a white out dust storm. Chills ran through my body, even in the heat.
At Burning Man I felt more human than I feel in my ordinary life. When people asked me what I do for a living and I responded, “I’m disabled.” Their response was, “No, no – what do you DO?” I was caught off guard. I was struck that my disability was not seen as a detractor from my humanity. I was reminded that I am not my disease. “What do you do?” really meant “Who are you?”
The Episcopal Church is going Jesus on you. And this is no Jesus you’ve ever been hurt by. This is the love-affirming, love-giving Jesus who is everywhere. He’s at Pride, he’s at the bus stop, he’s at Burning Man, he’s in your kitchen. And everywhere he is, he’s giving people hugs and cake.
We’re constantly told by nondisabled theologians that Jesus “fixed” us by removing our disability. But the removal of my disability would not make me whole, it would actually fracture me further – disability is such a huge part of my cultural and personal identity.