The title for this entry isn’t a typo. Actually, you’re reading two different words that have a strong connection for those of us who are older.
If you’re an invalid, you’re likely confined to quarters, in your own home or in a care-giving arrangement. You’re limited in the range of your movements. “Invalid” can also carry negative freight: Not only is an invalid afflicted with chronic illness or disability, but that person is not strong or effective. (Now we’re heading toward pejorative…!)
When something (or someone) is invalid—note that I’ve switched words!—that thing or person is null and void, lacking power or capacity. An invalid password can flummox your partnership with anything technologically smarter than you! An invalid person might be considered invisible or unworthy of attention.
Here’s the rub and the opportunity: Think about the invalid invalids you know—folks who have disappeared off the screen of caregivers, friends, neighbors or family. What happens to their spirit, their belief in a loving God, their sense of purpose or their self-worth? (Some elders tell me, “I’m not sure why I am still here, still alive….”)
If you’re one of these people, what can you hope for your life? If you love an invalid, what can you do to build up this person’s soulful self? What can you change in yourself or in the context in which this person lives?
It’s not good when any of us is invalid—zeroed out, invisible. But being an invalid—ill or disabled—does NOT necessarily mean that we’re worthless. God’s love can find us in the middle of any imagined nothingness or any disabling condition.
What’s even more effective and hopeful: You or I could be the ones who bring God’s strong, worth-validating love to invalid invalids!
And that’s NOT a typo….
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