Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Church Monster [Prologue]

I started this post months ago.  Every now and again, I come back to it, add something, and close it.  Every time, I shake my head not just at the situation, but at myself for thinking I might be able to help make a dent in it.  Each time, I put it away and think that maybe it'll do more harm than good... maybe this is just one that's too big for me to tackle.  But I can't shake it.  It's too close to our hearts, it's so much of our lives, and it won't leave me alone.

What makes me decide I have to do something about it now, you ask?  An experience I had recently, coupled with an article from Christianity Today this weekend.  But before I tell you about it, before I open this bulging can of worms, please do me a favor.  If you're interested in mudslinging, taking sides, and judging others... or even in looking through this post to make calls on how we choose to do things, please note that no angry, ugly comments will be tolerated (not that my regulars would do such a thing, but this is the internet, folks).  As a matter of fact, they'll be deleted.  Hatefulness is quite non-productive.

The purpose here is to bring more of the issues to light.  No part of anything I ever post is intended as fodder for rumors or to paint anyone in a negative light.  The truth is that not one of us can call ourselves clean but for the blood of Christ.  I feel very strongly that many people make decisions based on a lack of education on a matter, or education on the way to deal with said matter.  What I do here is share my heart.  I share my heart and our experiences for several reasons, but one of them is decidedly that someone, somewhere, might have a heart change about any of the topics I cover.  Another is because I benefited so much and still do from other parent blogs on autism that I feel compelled to pay it forward. All that coupled with the fact that I believe that every experience that God gives us is His to use... so I lay these things out so that someone might find education, comfort, hope, or a kindred spirit.  Maybe it'll even start some healthy discussion on how we can work on this.

Because it's going to take all of us.

To all you special needs parents and grandparents, I hope you can find some understanding here.

To all you pastors, youth leaders, worship leaders, education ministers, children's ministers and the like, I'm humbled that you made it this far.  The fact that you're interested in this is encouraging!

To all of you who attend a church, you are more important than you think.  Just being in the pew makes this relevant to you.

To those of you who have sworn off church by the way someone has hurt you, or some church has hurt you involving your special needs child/grandchild/friend/friend's child, I'd be honored if you'd hang in with this series.

I've broken this one into sections... a nice, short little series, if you will.  I don't have many answers, but I have found some relevant questions.  I've found some of them the hard way, some of them between reading and listening to others' experiences.  Don't worry, I'm not into sharing names of anyone other than my immediate family.

Buckle your seatbelt.  The ride might be a little bumpy, and it might not be terribly eloquently presented.  There might even be a few *gasp* typos.  But it's too important to leave alone.

Meet me back here tomorrow, and we'll get with it.  Might be two days, might be three.

Thanks again from the bottom of my blood-pumping muscle for reading.

You who read may very soon change lives.

Thanks be to God for you!

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