“Same Lake, Different Boat”

June 20th, 2010

That’s the title of a book by Stephanie O. Hubach I wish all my friends could read!

Her book was listed on the Down syndrome resource list on the Joni and Friends website.  We ordered it a little while back, thinking that it would be a story of a Christian family’s experience with Down syndrome.  We didn’t see the sub-title, “Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability.”

Turns out, it is a thoroughly, insightfully, and succinctly written Christian theology of disability.  She begins with the theological structure, the bones, and then describes the muscle of practical action.  Along the way she adds enough real-story flesh to give it convincing life.  Her second son, Timmy, was born with Down syndrome in 1992, and since then she has come to know many other folks with various disabilities.

But the challenge of this book extends far beyond disabilities to all relationships that may open themselves to the followers of Jesus.

The first three chapters are worth the price of the book.  Because I know that all my friends will not take the opportunity of reading this book (especially if the stack of books next to your bed is as tall as mine!), here’s a brief summary of each of those three chapters.  Just maybe it will whet someone’s appetite for more!  As always, we think it’s a waste of good books to let them languish on a shelf, so please ask to borrow our copy if you’ll read it.

~In chapter one, the author contrasts the three main beliefs about the nature of disability and the nature of our world at large, and explains how these beliefs affect our actions in the real world.

1.  The Historical View:  Disability Is an Abnormal Part of Life in a Normal World

2.  The Postmodern View:  Disability Is a Normal Part of Life in a Normal World

3.  The Biblical View:  Disability Is a Normal Part of Life in an Abnormal World

~In chapter two, she develops the idea that the God of the Bible has purposefully identified with those He has created in His image.  Immanuel=God with us.  And we His people are called to connect with others intentionally because we can identify with their human condition.

~In chapter three, she explains that the two pillars of respect that uphold genuine relationships are the image of God, and grace.  She simply but profoundly describes these relationships.  This is one case where The Truth is achingly beautiful.  From her words,

“In order to extend grace to others in relationships, we have to deeply understand our own need for it.  You can’t give grace if you haven’t received it.

If we relate to those with significant needs, we are patient with them, because we realize that we also have great needs of our own, albeit different ones.  At the times that our relationships are costly, we will quickly remember that God’s establishing a relationship with us was infinitely costly to him.”

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There’s a neat P.S. to this lil’ book review!

I’m the weird type that actually reads Forwards, Acknowledgements and Introductions, Notes and Glossaries, and yes, even Footnotes.  This time, I wouldn’t have otherwise learned that the author of this book is part of the same local congregation my dad and his second wife were part of for several years.

Not only that, but…

Those of you who have been reading this blog from the beginning may remember a little anecdote that came to my mind the first few days after hearing about Verity’s Down syndrome.  It was one of the very few times that Down syndrome had come anywhere near my life, and it made a deep impression on me.  You can read about it in THIS POST.

You guessed it.  That young drum-player was Tim Hubach, the author’s son.

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One Response to ““Same Lake, Different Boat””

  1. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    Oh, wow!  What a neat “coincidence”!  God is so good!

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