Young Life Capernaum

Young Life Capernaum

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Universal Design by Lyn TenBrink

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

It has taken me awhile but I am learning that with the nature of my job and all the traveling to and fro, God uniquely weaves and connects learning points for me. For example just in the month of October I had a conversation with:
  • A woman in the airport who works with cities to create “universal design” in their public spaces. She was most excited about the variety of people she got to meet while working on a variety of projects.
  • A woman at a meeting I attended is working to develop a “universal design” around worship services.
  • A gentleman who was my seat-mate in the airplane has a cognitive disability and he works for a company that anticipates challenges he may have in his travels, and makes arrangements so that nothing gets in the way of his job. As he states it, “I work for a company that gets ‘universal design’ at every level.”
You get the message here; I have spent a lot of time thinking about “universal design.” As I have, questions have come to mind such as: 
Why do we need agencies and people to be intentional about this? 

Why don’t we practice hospitality and accessibility more often?

Why are public organizations more aware of and moving forward with UD than Christian organizations?

Why do we need laws to demand UD?
How have I been intentional about universal design in the last 24 hours?

These questions may have a variety of answers, but one thing I am convinced of is that these questions are part of the reason Jesus came.  He spent so much time modeling hospitality and accessibility; including a variety of learning styles and contexts so that people could hear “good news!”  He went to such a variety of people that his actions simply screamed, “ALL of these people are included, celebrated and needed” in the gospel of universal design!!!!  Jesus brought an inclusive, universal gospel of hospitality!!!!!

Our friends in Capernaum are part of that picture!  Jesus blew it up on so many different levels.  Our friends in Capernaum are changing those of us involved, and they are also opening our eyes to other “varieties” of people that Jesus came for!  Because I know Shawnzy,  Allen and Zach, its easier for me to invite Keisha and Azreal into my life. 

God is opening our hands so that we can invite more people to the table!

What does the life of Jesus in Luke 14 and Corinthians 12 have to say about “universal design?”
  • We prepare, invite and go intentionally as if it’s a new day!!!
  • We need to flip our individualistic thinking. We often think that we are the key to others flourishing, however THEY are also the key to my flourishing.
  • No part of the body is indispensable. None, not even one.

What would it take for us to be a people of universal design as Jesus intended?

Lets keep going my friends!

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