Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What it's Really About

 Yesterday I shared with you a "Letter to the Starer."

This is not the first time we've encountered this kind of judgement.  It's so far beyond the first time that I hate to admit how many times it's happened.  I've cried all the way home before.  I've kept my head down and just tried to get him outta there without hurting himself or anyone else inadvertently.

The part that hurt this time is that it was his normal that was so out of place.

As they get older, they get bigger.  As they get bigger, the gap between their behavior and typical, age appropriate behavior widens.  With that, I would argue, the anxiety grows.

The microscope zooms in.

Every time I feel I'm publicly shamed in a way for my son's behavior, my first instinct is to throw out his diagnosis.

"You don't understand... he's autistic."  

That is a true statement.  An honest defense, if you will, of my sweet yet loud and bounding young man.  

But there are enough things out there screaming about autism.  


Okay, so I'm not going to stop writing about it, because there are still people who don't understand.  But here's the thing.  

There aren't enough people out there understanding that we are all human.  

That man may very well be the same kind of sinner saved by irresistible grace that I am thankful to be.  He may be someone who has not yet heard about that grace, but either way, he is likely a perfectly nice guy.  Yes, he hurt my feelings.  Yes, I felt like his actions were a bit much.  

But he's human.  

He should receive the same grace I receive every day.  From the guy who cuts you off in traffic to the sacker at the store who broke your eggs to the husband who can't seem to hear you when you're talking, we're all human.  All fallible.  Imperfect.  Unreasonable.  Selfish.  Tired.  Frustrated.  

We are all in need of grace and mercy.  

So through all this, whether you ever see an autistic child or not, I hope you will walk away with a little more mercy for the guy who put pickles and mustard on a burger you CLEARLY ordered cheese and catsup ONLY (can you guess what happened to me yesterday after the doctor's office?), or the hairdresser whose idea of an inch is WAY different than yours.   

Because it's not just about autism.  It's not about any other specific difference between you and I and the guy on the corner.  It's about uncommon grace and mercy and trust that we're all plugging along the best we can.  

It's time to zoom out, and maybe even do our best to put away the microscope. 

Thanks be to God for forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

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