Friday, September 14, 2012

Communicating With Carly About Autism, God, and the Struggle to Touch the Intangible - A Glimpse Into My Own Spiritual Journey

"Do you believe there is a God?"
On Wednesday, Carly Fleischman (a teenage non-speaking autistic whose amazing story some of you may have seen on 20/20) fielded a question about her personal struggle with believing in God due to her autistic wiring and need for tangible things.  Hers is a struggle that I fully understand and I was able to be part of the discussion.
In follow up emails I have been asked by several other autistics and parents of autistics if they could have a copy of my response - that's why I'm posting it here.  
I pray that this will give a small (ok - maybe miniscule) glimpse into some of my own journey towards belief - a journey that at times is still filled with great warring in the land of unbelief. This is not a full treatise by any stretch of the imagination and there is MUCH that could be and should be written on this subject. Doubt appears to be a very common thread for many on the spectrum (the most recent statistics suggesting that autistics are only 11% as likely to believe in God as their neuro-typical counterparts). As I have mused and meditated on the issue over the past year I have a number of thoughts on the "whys" of that struggle and on the need for the church to understand the deep reality of that struggle. Perhaps another day - for now, my response to Carly! :)


Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Am Not an Accident - The Best Birthday Note Ever

43 years ago today, a 31 year old single mother struggled all alone in a hospital delivery room ending a hard and difficult 9 month journey - a journey that had included hiding out in a rural hunting cabin in the woods outside of Sumter, SC in order to avoid the "shame" of her pregnancy. She almost died giving birth to the little girl whom only months earlier she had come so close to aborting - having gone so far as to spend quite a stretch of time in the waiting room of a local "chiropractic" clinic which was but a cover for an abortion mill. Her selfless sacrifice is why I'm here and on this, my birthday, I give thanks to the one who suffered and gave up her dreams that I might be able to have dreams.  This post is one that I wrote several years ago after receiving a letter from that special lady.  It contains my story, her story, and perhaps even some of your own.


I don't know how many of you know my story. It is one that I didn't know fully until about 12 years ago - and one that in many ways I will not know FULLY fully until I reach my eternal home. You see, I'm adopted. I've known that as a fact for as long as I can remember and it's never been a big deal. It's simply been a reality.

My adoptive parents never hid adoption from me. Instead they held it openly forth as a good thing - a very good thing and they repeatedly told me that I was chosen by them. (Now, I have to admit that the "chosen" mantra with which I grew up is not quite as precious to me as it once was. Several years ago my adoptive parents "chose" to end our relationship just as they had "chosen" to begin it 35 years earlier. They recanted on their adoption promise and left me sort of re-orphaned in the dust. No reason was given other than that they just didn't want anything else to do with me. That kind of hurt - OK that's an understatement, it was absolutely crushing- and their actions ended up putting a whole new twist on the fleshed out, rubber meeting the road definition of love and trust for me. But, I digress...)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Being "Better"

There is post that has been floating about on many of my friend’s Face Book pages over the past few days. It’s a picture post (a virtual poster that you can tack up on your cyber wall) which reads:

Now, at first glance that seems rather nice and innocuous and it is receiving “like” upon “like” upon infinite “like” by buddy after buddy of mine. I get the initial "likes" for it seems sweet and I’m sure is meant to serve as a good ol’ kick in the rump to get us walkin’ our talkin’ and livin’ our learnin’. You know, we could earnestly use a halting of the hypocritical but not at the expense or expulsion of reason or logic or ultimate truth. I think these 11 words may serve to do that very dangerous thing and therefore, underneath the nicety I think there may be a querulous quandary that we might need to consider. Might I ask you to look back again at these well-meaning words and see if anything strikes you as strange. 

"Your beliefs don't make you a better person,
your behavior does."

Two things rise up in my feeble mind almost immediately.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How Far Can You Go with Mo?

Yesterday, after reading about the death and burial of Moses, I put a status update on my Face Book page. Here’s what it said:

“Moses died and was buried by God. Christ died and was raised by God. The load of the law would have an end. The glory of the gospel goes on forever!”
That was yesterday. This is today. Today hasn't changed much!

Today I’m still ruminating upon the exact same thing and am still absolutely blown away by how much greater glorious grace is than laborious law. I am particularly struck at how much our need for the good news of the gospel of Jesus is portrayed in the life, death, and burial of the man Moses - he who gave us the Law carved upon tablets of stone.

Now, just so you know, I’m NOT dissing the Law. Not at all! We need it and we need it desperately! It shows us the holiness of our God. It shows us the lack of that same holiness in ourselves. It points out to us the heinousness of our sin. It serves as a schoolmaster to teach us where we err and as a mirror to enlighten us regarding the muck, mud, & mess that is all over our face. It's like a spiritual MRI - showing us what's wrong with our heart, mind, and soul.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Educated By Eagles - Progressing our Posteriors by a Brash Boot in the Buttocks

Eagles can be pushy parents. They don’t let their little ones lollygag in laziness for long. There is a time when those itty bitty baby birds need to grow up and the eagle, perhaps more than any other creature, is the Shah of shakedown when it comes to moving her little ones towards maturity. We often talk about pushing our children out of the nest, a term drawn from the actions of this fine feathered fowl. But lest, we simply set this matriarch aside on the shelf of mean moms let us pause to consider several of the truths which surround the process of parenting that she displays.