A Song for Those Living With Disability

I remember it like it was yesterday.

We all have those memories; those moments in our life where time stood still and

everything crystallized.  For me it was when the ultrasound technician said, “I hate to be the one to tell you this.”  

That was the moment my wife and I discovered that the child she was carrying had something called Spina Bifida.  In an instant we were transported into the world of special needs.  Issues and concerns that had been virtually invisible to us up to then were suddenly in the forefront of every waking moment.

It’s kind of like when you get a new car.  You’ve never realized how many (fill in your model here) there are on the road until you have one.  Then suddenly it seems like they’re everywhere.  

And those empty handicapped parking spaces in a crowded parking lot that used to be so annoying – well they don’t seem quite as annoying anymore.

How Do You Write a Song for someone with a Disability?

A few days after I learned that my son was going to be born with a chronic condition illness that would affect his entire life I did what any songwriter would do.

I went into a writer’s room at Starsong, where I was a staff writer at the time, and processed what I was feeling by writing a song.  

To call it a room is being generous.  It was more like a converted closet. Monochromatic beige walls and exposed plumbing were the only visual highlights.

The furniture consisted of two folding chairs and a tired upright piano.

But on this day I wasn’t seeing any of that.  I was only thinking of the life my son was going to live and reflecting on the lives of others – both those with special needs and their caregivers – who live with disability every day of their lives.  I was thinking, how do you write a song for someone with a disability?

We are all Broken

What God had been showing me in my prayer time was strangely comforting.  We are all broken.

Oh, some of us have obvious medical “brokenness” that is more easily identifiable.

But the most beautifully adorned super model, the most confident looking CEO, the star athlete – they’re all broken too.

Because that’s what life does to us. Depression, marital problems, addiction, loneliness, paralyzing fears – you may not be able to see these things on the surface. But they are no less real.  

But our brokenness is not the only thing we have in common.  We are all the creations of a loving God who longs to be in relationship with each one of us.

It is our spirit that can be whole, regardless of how our earthly minds and bodies may have been broken.

Was I trying to make myself feel better as I wrote that morning?  You bet I was. And you know what? It worked. That’s because as I wrote God ministered to me, showing me that we are all broken and we are whole.  Whole in the sight of God.

None of us is perfect

Every life has a measure of trial

But Father we know

How much you love

Every single child

We are whole in the sight of God

We are whole in the sight of God

We can do all things through the grace of His spirit

We are whole in the sight of God

I devote a whole chapter to this story in my book Music for the Soul Healing for the Heart. In it I share how from the very moment this journey began God’s grace was apparent in incredible ways in our lives.  And remarkably, how God worked in the hearts of those who worked on the recording of the song.

I had another opportunity to write a song for someone with a disability about a dozen years later when I was sent the writing s of a young man living with juvenile diabetes.  The result was a song called Crooked Road.

If you or someone you love is living with a disability I hope these songs will encourage and bless you.

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