This is a story for my school newspaper-
“When I was planted in a prom for the disabled at Traders Point Christian Church (“TPCC”) as a spy for The Reveille on November 7, wonders about what such a dance would look like obscured my disappointment to be working a Friday night. Most of this population is giving or has served years of isolation in the prison of assumption that they are “mentally” incompetent. The prison is so vast and destroys so much esteem of its population that love as an equal is rarely a witness we dare consider.
Imagine my surprise to be greeted by nonjudgmental people who really were investing their Friday night to give the prisoners an evening of equality and fun. Who came up with such a radical, terrifically experience-altering idea? Don’t they know they are quite stealthily arresting the drift in hundreds of lives and sharing a possibility for life beyond the limitations of competence-challenge and wasted evenings? Haven’t they heard that one can go to jail feeding the hungry in Ft. Lauderdale or lose a professional license and all credibility thinking the incompetent are competent? I know teachers and aides whose careers were terminated for thinking these things.
Taking a bold stand for the prisoners, TPCC was apostolic in its ministry. What I found was a happy and dedicated staff wasting no time witnessing their love to all of a forgotten population. Satisfying events like this require quiet, awesomely complex choreography. What I saw was a well-oiled machine of fun for all lovers of music and entertainment.
As a Catholic boy, I fit right in. There was no alcohol, but no one lets me near that anyway. Evening attention was an easy reminder we are so close in love’s ability to honor and serve each other when the heart is spirit-led. Issuing another invitation to the vast population that starves for this kingly inclusion at life’s banquet is sure to multiply the numbers. We are so alone and this type of activity is love-filled and makes a difference. Thank you, TPCC, for an amazing celebration of brotherhood in Christ.”
copyright 2014 John Smyth