Beautiful Orthodoxy

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Sept. 24, 2015
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media, Video Archives

As we grow older, or a family member ages or sustains a life-altering disability, we’re often quick to say, “I don’t want to be a burden.” And with 48 years of quadriplegia, I’m the first to confess that thought has crossed my mind. But when it comes to families — especially Christian families — it’s our calling to depend upon one another. In a society that boasts individualism, the Christian family can showcase sacrificial service to the world. God designed my disability not to make me “independent,” but “interdependent.” That’s the beauty of Galatians 6:2, which tells us we fulfill the law of Christ when we “carry each others’ burdens.” Yes, as a quadriplegic who is rapidly aging, one part of me doesn’t want to burden my husband, Ken. But the other part understands that this messy, inconvenient stage of life is supposed to reflect God’s highest purposes for us as a couple, and as a family. Because that’s what Christian love is all about. Friend, this is Beautiful Orthodoxy in action and I encourage you to read more on this very important topic in an article I wrote for Today’s Christian Women, “The Beautiful Truth About Being a Burden.”


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As I type, our evening attendant is moving through the many steps it takes to ready my 70 yr old husband for sleep. He is a quad of 50 years. We married in 1991 ; however we were classmates in 1960-61 before his accident in 1965. This is my first outreach to find support as I face increasing limits to my caregiving abilities. I've ordered the book you and Ken wrote together. I am already encouraged by what I've read on your website, struggling to remember "though I am alone, I am never alone ."
  • Oct. 6, 2015
  • 9 p.m.
  • Jacky
you are a great encouragement, Joni!!! I may be only be 12, but you have helped my get through a lot of things!!
  • Oct. 1, 2015
  • 8:27 a.m.
  • Kate
I am taking a handicapped young women to bible study each week & we just viewed the Joni movie on VCR tape edition made in 1979. I would like to get this in DVD form if available. It was touching for her to see this as she experienced a severe brain trauma & being paralyzed on her right side after a car accident in 1999.
  • Sept. 30, 2015
  • 6:52 a.m.
  • Kathleen Hooley
thank you joni fo sharing this intimate part of your life !! very emotional to see you struggle with daily routine
  • Sept. 25, 2015
  • 9:51 a.m.
  • rita Edelenbos
Hi Joni, thank you for sharing this! You are truly able to communicate grace in action. From this blog post/ video clip to Wheels To The World program you show the big picture and the small picture of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. It encourages me so much. Thank you! P.S. When I saw this post I was glad that I had already prayed today for you and your friends listed as "pain pals" because the post was about being interdependent in the body of Christ and I felt a part. The video clip brought to my mind that I should add caregivers to my prayers when I lift up "pain pals" to Jesus. Caregivers like Ken and your girlfriend (in the clip) are powerful influences on those whom receive their care, and I want to pray for caregivers' love to shine as brightly as their heavenly crowns will shine when they lay them at Jesus' feet. Glorious crowns, glorious caregivers!
  • Sept. 24, 2015
  • 12:50 p.m.
  • Erin Colquitt