When you read the title of this post, how did you read it?
Invalid or Invalid?
I was reading something this week about a person who, after surviving an accident, was rendered a quadriplegic, or an invalid. At first, I skimmed right over it, but after a second glance, I saw with fresh eyes that invalid was spelled the same as invalid. I found myself feeling completely incensed over this realization. Certainly, that person, though now without the use of arms and legs, was still valid!
Here are definitions for the word in both forms:
invalid (adjective): suffering from disease or disability
invalid (adjective): being without foundation; logically inconsequent
Suffering from disease/disability…without foundation or logical consequence.
Images of people I’ve known and loved in my lifetime come pouring into my mind: an elderly cousin who had both legs amputated, spent a lifetime crafting beautiful quilts, exercised her political muscle by writing countless letters to those in office, and was able to list all the Presidents in order and the capitols of every state, well into her late years; a beautiful woman who, though ravaged by Alzheimer’s, could amazingly still play Scrabble, tell stories about the log cabin built by she and her husband of 70+ years during their first years of marriage and showed, through example, the meaning of tenderness and unconditional love; a cousin, only in his 50’s, stricken with a disorder that left him basically home-bound and even chair-bound, still positively affected the life of his young grandson and others whom he discipled from home; an uncle, though dying of lung-cancer and chained to his chair and his oxygen tank, always had a ready joke and a smile that would lift any one’s droopy spirits. These people and, I’m sure, many that have come to mind from your own life, were all dealing with disease or disability, but they were very foundational and of great consequence. Invalids, yes; but still very VALID.
You know, though most of us get around pretty well and are, for the most part, blessed to be healthy, we have in us a disease with the potential to render us completely incapacitated. Many of us have experienced being so bound up by this disease that, while we might be able to move our bodies around, our hearts and souls have been suffering to the point of being disabled, useless; invalids inside our functioning skin.
Fortunately, God saw to it that our invalid hearts didn’t have to be doomed to be invalid. He sent His Son to conquer the disease of sin that disables our hearts, so that, no matter the condition of our bodies, our hearts are FREE. They are set solidly on a strong FOUNDATION, and if constantly and properly tended, they can be of GREAT, IMPORTANT CONSEQUENCE.
I’m not at all sure that invalid is the term I want to use for the sick and disabled from this point forward. Certainly the sweet ones bearing this label, that have graced my life, have been among the most valid people I know.
Perhaps that has much more to do with the state of the heart than the state of the body.
Melinda, I had never noticed that those two words were spelled the same either. Thanks for leading the way in getting us to think about that!
Blessings, my friend!
Oh My. I have never looked at this word like this!
So true what you have poured out here…
I loved your last line!
What a great post! I had never thought about that word before. I know this will be lingering in my mind for the rest of the day! Wow, so amazing! Thank you for putting this together so I can think today! Have a great Friday!
Great post, Melinda. As others have voiced, I never drew the connection between the two words before, but clearly see the parallels we draw when using them with those deem “invalid.” Either way, it’s a label void of purpose and cuts at the core of what we all long to be…a people of purpose. Thank God for giving us that purpose through his Son.
Powerful writing, friend. Have a blessed weekend.
There was a time I would have not thought twice about either word, and today they break my heart. We so throw people to the streets….and God loves us all.
What a fabulous way to focus on “validity”! It’s also a profound look at the flip sides of the same coin.
On a similar note, my pastor often says “there are no illegitimate children; only illegitimate parents.”
How precious is life!
This was a very insightful post. I am so glad that it’s our hearts that God looks at and not our bodies!
WOW! That was good Melinda. Never thought of those 2 words in that way. Thank you.
Hope you have a good weekend. We’re putting up Christmas decorations….actually hubs is dragging out the trees now. I’m watching. 🙂 For now.
How does that happen? For a lifetime you see a word one way – when it screams another! INvalid definitely does not mean inVALID. We are all created with a heavenly purpose in vessels broken and flawed. Thank you for sharing these thoughts – I will be pondering this for a long while! Blessings,
I never thought about those words, spelled the same but meanings are different.
May my life always count for Christ.
Love this post, these stories and your keen observations. So much to be thankful for. Thank you for reminding me that it’s only through Christ i have any validity, without Him i am completly impotent and of no value…Praise God for His amazing grace!
love and hugs dear girl,