Monday, December 3, 2007

The Power of Faith, The Radiance of Light

The Faith and Light programs organized by the boys at Taize on the last Friday of every month, highlight a powerful gift the Taize community provides here. Through the power of faith, the Brothers break down barriers and allow a radiant light of joy to shine through these beautiful events. The Faith and Light events are an extension of the l'Arche community started by Jean Vanier, and provide an opportunity for the handicapped and their caretakers to enjoy a day of happiness and respite.
A time for laughter and joy.

I use the term handicapped not at all sparingly, for that is what we all are. We are all handicapped in some way, the reality is that some people have much more severely disabling handicaps than others. But to say someone is handicapped in one area, does not mean they are handicapped in others. For Rajib, a boy I have gotten to know very well, he may be handicapped mentally, he may not be able to communicate, or go to school, but he cares about those he meets with such love and affection it would soften the hardest of souls.

There is no denying the challenges of living daily with someone who is handicapped, especially when they require constant supervision. The task is daunting and often leads to despair. And here again, the light shines through. For in these meetings, the boys from Taize care for the handicapped and the children, they allow the caregivers and parents a time to discuss and reflect on their lives with those in similar positions.

And no Faith and Light (especially the picnic on November 30), is complete without a time of games, laughter and song. Games not only for the handicapped, but also for their guardians. It is a time of relief, a time for joy and laughter in community, a community bridging generations and faiths.

May we all learn to love those labeled unloveable, and to stand with those who are handicapped in faith and in light. Loving unconditionally and caring incessantly. For I have learned, your love will never go unreturned.

Peace and Joy.

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