Joni Eareckson Tada
Quote 1: A Step Further: growing closer to God through hurt and hardship
“The truth of the matter is, Satan and God may want the exact same event to take place - but for different reasons. Satan's motive in Jesus' crucifixion was rebellion; God's motive was love and mercy. Satan was a secondary cause behind the Crucifixion, but it was God who ultimately wanted it, willed it, and allowed Satan to carry it out. And the same holds true for disease.”
“…we refuse to present a picture of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild,” a portrait that tugs at your sentiments or pulls at your heartstrings. That’s because we deal with so many people who suffer, and when you’re hurting hard, you’re neither helped nor inspired by a syrupy picture of the Lord, like those sugary, sentimental images many of us grew up with. You know what I mean? Jesus with His hair parted down the middle, surrounded by cherubic children and bluebirds…When your heart is being wrung out like a sponge, when you feel like … salt is being poured into your wounded soul, you don’t want a thin, pale, emotional Jesus who relates only to lambs and birds and babies. You want a warrior Jesus. You want a battlefield Jesus. You want his rigorous and robust gospel to command your sensibilities to stand at attention... When you’re in a dark place, when lions surround you, when you need strong help to rescue you from impossibility, you don’t want “sweet.” You don’t want faded pastels and honeyed softness…You want mighty. You want the strong arm and unshakable grip of God who will not let you go — no matter what.”
On the day the Americans with Disability Act was signed into law, we all went back to the hotel for a reception and our national director Paul Hearne gave a toast. He said, "This civil rights legislation is great in that it will open up doors of opportunities in employment, it will put ramps into restaurants. And yet this law is not going to change the employer's heart, it's not going to change the heart of the maître d'." He lifted his glass and said, "Here's to changed hearts." Paul understood what makes our society value or not value people. It's a matter of that moral center. I think the advancements will only be accomplished when we make friends with people with disabilities, when we stop tiptoeing around that person with MS, when we make ourselves see the woman in the wheelchair. You can't legislate that.