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Through Lattice Windows: Having Something To Offer

"As someone who has been on the receiving end of help and attention for most of my life, it is truly wonderful to have something to offer for a change,'' writes Leanne Hunt.

My recent qualification as a prayer guide and current involvement in this ministry have altered my life considerably. I feel as if, at last, I am moving into what I was made for - being a light in the world and a bearer of good news to those who are suffering despair and loneliness.

Years ago, I thought that being a worship leader in church was my ultimate destiny. I delighted in leading others into the presence of God through music and song. I enjoyed playing a crucial role in the congregation and being on the inside, as it were, of the community. However, there came a time when this season of fruitfulness gave way to a season of die-back, making me wonder if I would ever be fortunate enough to find fulfilment in ministry again.

Fourteen years is a long time to be in the desert, doubting your capability to be of service. Then again, it is said that the apostle Paul spent fourteen years in the wilderness, getting to grips with his new revelation of God's purpose, before he entered active ministry establishing churches. It seems that there is no urgency with God; if we need time to process His call on our lives, we have it. The issue is not how quickly we get going but how deeply we are convinced of God's grace. While some disciples can be entrusted to take the gospel of the kingdom out immediately, others have to work through their doubts and fears before they can function as effective witnesses.

This being said, I think I am now on track to make a real difference in my community. At last I can put my unique set of skills to use and help others to develop some of the abilities that are second nature to me due to my visual impairment - abilities such as attentive listening, committing Scripture to heart and intuiting the voice of the Holy Spirit. I have always been a very introspective person, and my interest in different ways of perceiving the world has made me aware of how my own feelings motivate my behaviour.

This combination of introspection and self-awareness, combined with my desire to relieve peoples' frustration and pain, should stand me in good stead for what is to come. I look forward to accompanying people on their spiritual journeys, focusing attention on their specific gifts, and enriching their experience of God in everyday life.

My greatest hope is that the sensitivity I have had to develop as a partially-sighted person will enable me to quickly perceive what it is a retreatant needs and how their need can best be met. This would make all my years of struggle worthwhile.

We are not here, I believe, simply to do the best for ourselves. We are here to do for others, and this out of the experience we have gained through difficulty and loss. A disability is only a handicap if it hinders my service in the world. If it contributes understanding and mastery of essential skills, it has been turned into grace.

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