A few years ago I started this blog, thinking that I would educate the public about what it was like to be disabled and, consequently, struggling, if not downright poor. There were so many nasty rumors being circulated about poor people, in general, and such a lot of misunderstanding about disabled people and their needs, that I thought I would be doing a good service by disseminating factual information to counteract the meanness.
What I did not realize is that my target audience was not the slightest bit interested in having the real information or in learning anything. There are many people with strong opinions in this world for whom their opinion is God. Their opinions arise out of a few anecdotal stories, or a feeling or a philosophy, but they are rarely based on hard facts or statistics. The harsher the opinion, the less likely that the person has done any real research into the area of his or her strong opinion.
Because I am disabled and poor, people with harsh opinions about the poor and disabled are not the slightest bit interested in what I have to say. After all, they think all the disabled people are just faking it and that the poor people are somehow cheating the system. How could they possibly learn anything from me?
The people who ARE interested are those who are in the same position in which I find myself. I have been hearing from them that my blog has, on occasion, helped them. I have been asked to start again, and I think I will...this time with a different focus, a different audience, and a different perspective. I want to be a supporter and encourager of other disabled and poor people.
We can commiserate with one another and find a way to take the frustrations and limitations of our lives and transform them into a vehicle of holiness. We can be a community for one another. To this end, I am thinking of establishing a Facebook page or group for the disabled contemplative. I will try to focus on inspiring saints, such as blessed Margaret of Castello, who was terribly disabled but still managed to become a third order Dominican renowned for her saintliness and devotion to other poor people. I will post encouraging articles on the Facebook page, along with notices of the occasional posts I make to this blog.
I still plan to spend more time praying and meditating, so I will not be putting lots of time into perfecting the blog posts, as I used to do. The posts will be shorter. The pictures will be fewer. I might miss a grammatical error or a misspelling.
If you are disabled and you wish to follow the contemplative life, or if you are already following that life and would like some encouragement and inspiration, please join us. There are a lot of disabled folks and retired elderly folks, for that matter, who are naturally turning toward contemplation as their life has slowed. We can help one another on our spiritual path.
God bless you all.
Silver Rose Parnell