Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Scene From My Story Along the Autistic Road to Belief

Everyone has a story.  The details may differ. The settings may not be the same. The tale of one man may look like a divine comedy, while that of another may best align itself with an allegorical adventure.  


Well, I like to think of my story as Greek tragedy meets the Twilight Zone. 

I came crashing on the scene as the result of an adulterous affair.  My birth parents were middle-aged professionals and they weren’t banking on a baby. The introduction of my story would add a whole heap of conflict to the narratives of quite a few other folks.  In response, it was decided that I would be aborted and I narrowly escaped that fate when my birth mom abruptly exited the abortion clinic she had earlier entered, committing to carry me to term - at great personal cost to herself. 

I was adopted, but all was not well. My adoptive mom, a brilliant woman, suffered from mental illness and I sometimes suffered at the hands of that which haunted her.  Years later, after I was married and had children of my own, her paranoia pushed her to cast me out of her life completely - re-orphaning me in the dust. She told me that she no longer loved me and really never had. 

Those are hard words to hear.

At her request, the relationship remained severed until only a few weeks before her death. In God's kindness she allowed me to be with her as she died - even asking me to wash her feet during her final day of clear cognition. Her last words were spoken to me in that moment.  As I kneeled before her with basin and towel in hand, remembering 4 decades of struggle and strife, she simply said, "Please forgive me." 

I did forgive her - because Christ has forgiven me!

My adolescence was spent as an angry atheist.  From my earliest years I had longed to know and understand God, but my constant questions were either met with petty pat answers, calls to blind belief, or hypocritical hubris. Fed up with it all, I turned the page on God in high school and began a new chapter of theistic disdain. That section of my story could best be described as “a dark and stormy night.”