As a much-published author, social commentator and academic, Roy McCloughry is ideally placed to make the latest theological thinking about disability accessible to a wide audience. As a person living with epilepsy who regards his condition, as a ‘strange gift’ from God – he brings rich personal experience of what it’s like to live as a disabled person in a world where acceptance frequently relies on the appearance of normality.
Attitudes in the Church too can be strangely unsettling. People are often embarrassed or fearful in encountering disabled people, who are, if the Bible is to be believed, at the heart of the kingdom of God.
After all, God does not want us to conform to society’s stereotype of what is normal, but to celebrate diversity by delighting in who we are. We do not need to be ‘cured’ to know God’s healing, empowering love in our lives. Indeed, as Roy’s deeply moving interview with Jean Vanier underlines, the ‘abled’ may well discover their true humanity through learning from those whose humanity has sometimes been called into question.