I want to share three quotes by John Vaughn, taken from his book More Precious Than Gold (pp. 205, 207, 212). The first captures his philosophy of disability very well.

vaughns.jpgA handicap is a responsibility! It is an exclamation point in a person’s life message. Whatever we’re saying with our lives, we say more emphatically if we are disabled.

In another place, he describes an incident involving his disabled daughter Becky.

Becky was trying to look through a picture book. For about ten minutes she had been trying to turn the page with her little, fingerless hands. Debbie was playing the piano. As Brenda worked in the kitchen, Becky asked, “Mommy, when I grow up, will I have hands like Debbie?”

As I read quietly in the next room, I listened to hear her response.

Brenda stopped her work and said softly, “Becky, Debbie has the hands that God has given her to do her job, and you have the hands that God has allowed you to have to do your job.”

Out of that simple statement has grown the “Hidden Treasure” principle, a central theme of our ministry, especially our ministry with disabled children: “We have everything we need to do the will of God for our lives.”

The final quote is a challenge to see disability as an opportunity—indeed, a responsibility—to be used for God’s glory.

The afflicted have a responsibility to take the initiative, to use their disability to glorify the Lord. … The disabled have no right to take advantage of their handicap for selfish purposes; it is a trust from God.

Grace to you.

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About Jason Harris

Dr Jason Harris is a writer, pastor, and academic. He has authored multiple books, articles, and papers including his book Theological Meditations on the Gospel. Jason has a PhD from James Cook University as well as degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research. Jason has lived in Cairns, Australia since 2007 and serves as pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.


  1. Apo Malo 29 May, 2008 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    I was very encouraged with this article as it directly related my vocation. Though the kids I work with have moderate to severe disabilities, I realise that my purpose is to show them God’s prupose in their life… To glorify God.

    The only difficulty, though, is that I don’t know if they understand eveything I share with them; whether that be in song, pictures or word, as their disability is quite severe. I mean I could be sitting with them and sharing God’s Word with them (in my job discription) and then all of a sudden I could be hit because I turned the page wrong, or something is not right in their little world, who knows what it could be!

    Any way, I was encouged by this article. Thanks Dr. Vaughn and Jason.

  2. Jason 30 May, 2008 at 10:09 am - Reply

    Thanks for the comment Apo. If you haven’t read the book, I think you’d find it a real encouragement. The Wardan’s might have it if you want to borrow it.

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