Tag Archives: inclusive

The Sixth Son

I’m reading one passage/chapter from the Bible each morning. I went through the Psalms. I must admit, I took Psalm 119 by sections. Next I went to Philippians. It was only 4 chapters long, so what next? I finally landed in the book of Nehemiah. I specifically remember passing by Chronicles and Numbers. I really didn’t feel like reading long genealogies. Ha! God had something wonderful for me today in Nehemiah chapter 3.

Nehemiah isn’t a super long book, so I thought I can handle this one chapter that names everybody who helped rebuild the wall of Jerusalem that had been broken down and burned. I’m starting to drift into that when will this boring list be over phase when I discovered, it wasn’t that boring after all. I noticed something. Everyone was included. People who lived in Jerusalem and those that lived in Jericho. People who were just your average citizens and folks that were priests and even the Nethinim. Two verses especially stood out. One man is listed as taking a section – and his daughters! My favorite verse: the sixth son of a certain man took a section of the wall and rebuilt it.

Have you ever felt like the sixth son? Back in medieval times, the first son was the heir, the 2nd wend to the military and the 3rd went to the church. You might find something for a 4th or 5th son to do, but to be the 6th son? Yet this man, the 6th son, is specifically mentioned as doing his part in rebuilding the wall. He is included.

I think that’s one of the many things I love about God’s way of presenting things. His grace, His mantra of “I have room for everyone” is found in so many places and so many different ways in the Bible. The Nethinim, a group of people set to always serve in the temple in menial tasks;  a man who had a handful of daughters and the sixth son. There really is a place for everyone in God’s kingdom.

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He Can’t!

Presenting marriage seminars is amazing. What a blessing! To see and hear of lives impacted and knowing these couples will never be the same, wow! What a privilege.

We managed to include a marriage seminar during our stay with family for the holidays – not for the faint of heart. At each seminar, we give away some t-shirts that help the couples remember some basic nuts and bolts things of understanding each other. Believe it or not, we need to be reminded at times that men and women are different in how we think and act. We play a game to see which guy gets the t-shirt.

We ask elimination questions until there is only one guy left standing. One of the questions was: did you go to the store for your wife this week? I noticed the man in the wheelchair, but I didn’t think about the question we just asked until his wife blurted out, “He can’t!”

Karl and I looked down the list of remaining questions and realized a lot of them would exclude someone with limited abilities in a wheelchair. We skipped a lot of questions and tried to be inclusive as much as possible. What if that woman hadn’t spoken up? I’m determined to take the time to notice obvious disabilities (not all can be seen) in the future and alter the game we were given to include everyone.

What if that devoted wife hadn’t spoken up? What if you and I don’t speak up? Find your voice and look around for those who may have lost theirs.

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