Tony Campolo once wrote that he has never hated anyone, but he was tempted when he attended a church camp several years ago. The camp was made up of Christian young people, including the best and the brightest of junior high, and Campolo was the resource speaker.
At the camp, you had the jocks and the cheerleaders, the handsome and the beautiful, the popular and… the unpopular. One of the unpopular ones was a young man who was born with cerebral palsy. He walked in a disfigured way; his speech was disfigured too. His name was Jerry.
Of course, as we know, junior high students are the most sensitive humans on the planet, right? (You probably noted my sarcasm there.)
Tony would catch people treating Jerry with scorn and contempt; they cruelly mimicked the way he talked—“Whhaaaaaaat… tiiiiiiiiiimmmmme… isssssssss… ccrrrraaaaafffffttttssss… ccllaaaassssss?” —and then they would all bust out laughing. They ignored the fact that he understood what they were saying and what they were doing. It infuriated Tony to watch the way they treated Jerry. It was brutal.
Finally, on the last day, the leaders of the camp held a final worship assembly. Students were encouraged to offer their personal testimonies. One after another, the popular students paraded in front of the microphone. It was as if their testimonies were memorized and recited, and they impacted no one.
Then, Jerry, in his disfigured way, walked slowly to the microphone. This surprised the campers. They began giggling and pointing. Struggling, Jerry mounted the platform and stood behind a microphone. He paused for a moment and then proclaimed, “I… loooooovvvvvve… Jeeeeesssssuuuuusss… aaaannnnnnddddddd… Jeeeeeeessssuuuusssss… loooooooovvvvvvvesssssss… mmeeeeeeeeeeeeee.”
There was silence as Jerry returned to his seat. And then the dam burst. The effect of his imperfect testimony was electrifying.
Jerry offered God his love, in spite of the fact that he was so marred physically and despite the fact that so many people made fun of him. His walk with Jesus, spiritually whole, convicted his fellow campers of their sin and selfishness.
They confessed sin. They asked for prayers.
God moved that day, and he spoke through the least likely person. As through Paul, God spoke through Jerry’s weakness.
You and I need not fear our weaknesses. God will speak through them.
… “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (II Cor. 12:9b.) NIV 1984
Source: When God Doesn't Make Sense by Dr. James Dobson