|What sense is there in the life of a handicapped person?
If we judge the value of a life according to criteria of efficiency, productivity and economy, society would tend to do away with those handicapped persons who are not useful and who cost a lot because they require so much care.
Even so, we are able to share from experience that many people with disabilities bring to the world other riches: simplicity, authenticity, the capacity of meeting others and a simple faith that is often contagious. Even when a person is very deeply wounded he remains unique, he is still thirsting for love and capable of loving.
For us, as Christians, we believe as well that this is a person created in the image of God, called to share one day in his glory and in whom He is pleased to abide.
We are faced with a choice. Either we continue to tolerate a kind of jungle where we exterminate the weak or we build a world of communion in which each person has his place and his irreplaceable contribution.
The weakest of persons awaken the best in us, they call us to love and to give of ourselves. Looking at the disabled person and our reaction to him, we are reminded: « Our value is in our heart ».
Hemiplegic since my birth because of the negligence of the midwife, I am now 48 years old. Happily, this handicap did not prevent me from loving life, pursuing my studies and having many activities. I never hesitated to take risks normally forbidden for someone in my condition, to the point of getting on a moving train almost every morning so that I could get to high shool on time! But, at the bottom of my heart, I held on to a certain anger against the person who caused my infirmity.
I continued to feel called to a religious vocation and I entered the Order of the Visitation in 1970. A year later, I had to have my leg amputated. A new difficulty to conquer. My feeling of revolt against the person responsible continued to grow.... At the present time, I can no longer use any support to walk. My infirmity is worsening and I am constantly in a wheelchair.
But God is greater than my infirmity because, a few months ago, I forgave, from my heart, the person who harmed me by meditating on two articles on humility in the magazine "He's Alive". Since then, I have found my life, just as it is, to be wonderful and I feel constant inner peace. I wonder if, without my handicap, I would be able to have such an experience of the closeness of God. Although life may be difficult, yes, it is worth the effort of living. I invite everyone to my 100th birthday that I can't wait to celebrate!