If you’ve read my other blog (or plenty of posts here, for that matter), you may know that my sister, MacKenzie, is special needs.
She is funny, fun, loving and an all-around great person.
She’s also an athlete.
MacKenzie won 2 gold medals this year at the state Special Olympics for backstroke and butterfly. I’ve cheered her on for years. So I take special interest in the world Special Olympics, on ESPN for the next week.
My Benedictine Sisters join me in watching this wonderful event. My heart is truly warmed with joy!
Listening to the athletes’ stories, seeing the excitement on their faces: I see the face of God in each one. And I am reminded that we are ALL made in the image and likeness of God.
Tim Shiever, chairman of Special Olympics, said, “Tonight, we have our chance to join in sharing the secret. After all, each of us wants pursue our own Olympic dream, to join our small lives to something bigger than ourselves, to play among the brave and the free. So let’s blow open the circle of human belonging and launch our own revolution, a dignity revolution. Our goal is simple: a world where there is no ‘us’ or ‘them.’ In the dignity revolution, there is only us. A world where each one of us called by name, beautiful, sacred, able. A world where there a million different abilities but no disabilities.”
We are all one. We are all a part of these world games. We are all children of God and loved.
I thank my Sisters and community for the love and support they give to people with disabilities though their work with SPEC, and through their hospitality to all who enter our monastery. We all belong. We are all one. We all sit at the table together.
The Dignity Revolution promoted by Special Olympics has helped stop the use of the “R” word. It promotes dignity to every person, no matter her or his culture, skin color, ethic background or ability. Label insults are NOT okay.
That’s foundational to us. St. Benedict insists we are to treat all as Christ. That means we don’t just act nice to a person’s face. We act nice behind their back, too. We call people by name: “beautiful, sacred, able.”
If you have time, tune into ESPN and watch some of the games. That’s where you’ll find the Benedictines for the next week! ❤