I’m gonna need to pray for that leg…
An emotion that my disability seems to inspire in some people is that of sympathy, they want to make things better for me. I have never really had a problem with it, as for me it’s just people trying to help and never having any malicious intent behind it. However, I have noticed that a particular group of people are more determined to help than others, the black Christian community.
While people from every race, and I assume, most religious or non-religious backgrounds have offered to give me their seat, open the door for me or help me with bags. Every single time that I have ever been stopped and people tried to help me in the form of prayer has been by a black Christian person.
Now I am not sure why that is, are they always black because I am black and find it easier to talk to me as we immediately have something in common? Or are Christians in general more vocal with their assistance than other religious people? I have no idea, but in all my years of living and travelling while crip, it has always been the same.
Normally in London, I will get approached by someone with a pamphlet detailing the miracles of Jesus and the testimonies of people from their particular church and how I should go one day and see what God could do for me and my less than able body. Now it never offended me that they did this as I could see that they really wanted me to “get better” and the only time it irked me was when this particular lady made me miss my bus. But such are the perils of living in London and needing the bus 30 in Dalston on a Sunday.
During my time spent abroad in America I had travelled the country after I had finished my study exchange in Long Beach, CA and one of the places I went to was Boston. On one of the days there, I was shopping in a mall when two black Christians asked if they could pray for my leg. Having experienced this many times over across the Atlantic, I didn’t think much of it and agreed to spare them my two minutes as it wouldn’t bother me but it would make them feel better.
I had bowed down my head and closed my eyes ready for a quick prayer before I went about my merry way exploring. What I had not anticipated when I agreed was that they would kneel down, hold onto my leg and pray to it directly, in the middle of a shopping mall, in the afternoon. While I am certain that they meant well, I could only stand there with hands full of shopping until they had finished. Two agonising minutes later.
This embarrassing episode made me grateful having grown up in a city that treated my disability with a pamphlet and a quick word about their miracles performed in a church. 45 seconds tops. That’s the kind of healing a busy gal about town needs.
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