My Body Is Not a Prayer Request: Disability Justice in the Church by Amy Kenny

Social Issues

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received an advance reading copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

5 Stars

Yellow book cover shows a wheelchair overflowing with a multicolored variety of flowersMy Body Is Not a Prayer Request: Disability Justice in the Church by Amy Kenny

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Description: Amy Kenny, a disabled Christian, reflects on her experiences inside the church to expose unintentional ableism and to cast a new vision for Christian communities to engage disability justice. She shows that until we cultivate church spaces where people with disabilities can fully belong, flourish, and lead, we are not valuing the diverse members of the body of Christ.

My thoughts: What an amazing step along this social journey I’ve been on. If I wrote down every point I wanted to highlight from this book along with my related reflections, my review would be longer than the book itself.

With a mix of (snarky!) humor and grace, the author lays out so much for a critical perspective shift. For instance, when I see her use “disable” as a verb at times, it becomes clearer: inaccessible spaces disable people who have different bodies, whereas accessible spaces ensure that everyone is able to be included. And to hopefully move beyond inclusion to belonging.

The book addresses practical issues concerning disabled people’s civil rights—some issues I knew about and some I didn’t. And how the author gradually explains the prophetic witness of disability, demystifying the truth of disabled people as God’s image-bearers, is nothing short of beautiful.

Plus, the book includes plenty of actionable steps for readers/the church (meaning, people in the church) to take.

One significant step for me as an author: watching how I use disability language in my writing. Granted, in recent years (and especially as my stories’ ranges of characters grow in diversity), I’ve started to feel weird about seeing words like “lame” commonly used as jokes and negative metaphors. Now I have a much clearer picture of why I’ve felt weird—and I can work on my language choices to write in ways that engage, rather than harm, a diversity of readers.

A diversity of invaluable image-bearers.

I highly recommend this book on disability justice in the church.

Go to Nadine's Books of Hope and Inspiration

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.