Sunday, April 6, 2014

Respecting the Blue

As I pulled into the last handicap parking space available and began the process of unloading my wheelchair, 2 able-bodied ladies (both adults) who were friends with one another easily waltzed out of the building carrying on a conversation about their illegal parking in the handicap zone. They were parked side-by-side, taking up a total of 2 of the 6 parking spots needed by so many genuinely-disabled individuals. And now that I had parked, there were none left. They lightheartedly giggled and carried on for several minutes. As they unlocked their vehicles and loaded their cars with their belongings, one of the ladies (about 65 yrs. old) bragged about how she's always parked in handicap because she can't walk too far, yet she's never gotten a ticket (because police never patrol handicap spots - I've never seen it, and when I call, they tell me they can't enforce it). She said she simply hasn't gotten a decal because she doesn't want to be "labeled" as handicap (Didn't you just "label" yourself if you parked in handicap?). (For the record, I have no problem with anyone with a legitimate decal, no matter how your appearance - but there is NO excuse if you don't have a decal. It's against the law, and it's not fair to those who really need that space.) They both saw me struggling to get my wheelchair out of the car while watching them carry-on their conversation at the same time. They waved. I waved. I didn't smile back, as I was literally disheartened that people I knew could be so thoughtless in their actions. As they pulled off, a man who I knew who uses a motorized wheelchair (and was circling the lot while the ladies were talking, in search of a handicap spot) pulled into one of the now-empty handicap spots. Prior to these ladies moving their cars, this man would not have been able to park at all. He would have had to turn around an make the trek home. Simply because two ladies were thinking of making things easier on themselves, rather than thinking of the needs of others.

PLEASE respect blue spaces. Parking further away can sometimes mean that we cannot park at all. Exemplify Christ by upholding the law. I expect it of young adults and in public places, but I did not expect it of adults who bragged of their wrong-doing. Please be an example. 

Romans 13:1-5
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.

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Mental Illness and the Church