When you have a loved one in a wheelchair, you find yourself always scanning restaurants, stores and other buildings for “best routes.” Even though our son moved out of our home about 8 years ago, still I find myself checking things out sometimes. It’s just a habit.
And, relating to the above, I’m very thankful that there is a piece of armor which God provides for us that can be used on the offensive – the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). Because let’s face it, there are days when you certainly do need to be in attack mode. Sometimes it’s up to us to seek justice against wrongs committed on those who are helpless (Isaiah 1:17).
As I confessed in my last post Stop With The Negative, there were many days when I failed to make sure I was adequately “suited up” with the full armor of God. And sometimes things didn’t turn out well because I’d failed in my preparation.
But there also were times when my husband and I drew our swords to get things moving in the right direction.
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), was created in part to help those in a wheelchair make sure they can safely enter buildings by having ramps available, as well as automatic and widened doorways.
But unfortunately one day we found a building which clearly was not up to the ADA code – and it was an important place for our son. It was the neighborhood school which Jeffrey was to attend when he was little.
It was an older school, meaning the doorways were narrower – and wheelchair ramps definitely weren’t in place where they needed to be.
Gary and I really didn’t want to jump into battle, so we tried to get the district to transfer Jeffrey to another school which was newer and very accessible.
Their answer: No. They wanted all kids to go to their neighborhood schools.
As we met with the district’s supervisors, we were promised again and again that everything would be up to code by the time school started in the fall. We weren’t sure it was going to ever happen, but did our best to give them the benefit of the doubt.
As the summer before Jeffrey was to start school began to wind down, we would often drive by to check it out. Nothing appeared to be getting done, and Gary was starting to get steamed.
“It will get done,” came the continued promises.
The week before school came. No wheelchair ramps had been put in, and we were fed up. We called our school contacts, and then went over their heads. Finally Gary had to threaten them with a lawsuit for failing to comply with ADA standards unless they got everything done before school started.
The remaining days ticked by … and then just a couple days before school started they began to frantically knock out pieces of sidewalk to install the ramps!
Often “special” kids get overlooked. And their families struggle to cope as best they can. But when someone is clearly breaking the law by not complying with the rules and regulations of government entitles like the ADA, we should draw our swords and do what’s right.
Romans 8:31 says if God is for us, no one can stand against us. We knew we were doing the right thing – not just for Jeffrey, but to help other kids in the future.
And yes there were some nasty attitudes from people at the school district. Yet it didn’t matter. Why? Because it says in Romans 8:33 that God Himself will take care of the accusers of His children when they are working for good and not evil.
Is there a battle you believe God is arming you for?