Monday, November 28, 2011

How should we then feel?

- from Jeremy

In the end of my last post I said that I would next tackle the question of our feelings regarding circumstances we can't control. I probably should have just kept that to myself. Principally because I'm not really in the detached, scientific frame of mind that one would need to be in to address it. I'm kindof ticked-off and over it at the moment. And by moment, I mean the past couple of weeks.

Signing something about the mob.
I don't always mind the noise level in the house. Jalen is jumping up and down so hard and fast that the doors on the living room entertainment cabinet knock around in their runners. And of course he's yelling at the top of his register while he's jumping. And he's yelling at Elmo or Blue or the Cedarmont Kids on the TV - and they're all way too loud. And Josiah is running from the swing in the play area to the sofa in the living room, jumping in the air and bouncing his tush off the wore-out springs and running back to the swing. Full speed. And alternating yell-laughing with just his usually guttural yelling. It's a genuine, hysterical, air-sucking kid laugh followed by an insistent, baritone howling. Not an unpleasant sound, really. Just loud. And Liv is practicing piano, which I never discourage. And Jack is chasing Judah around, and the two of them are echoing high-pitched cackles at one another. And Christy's got K-LOVE on in the kitchen. Like I said, I don't always mind.

But sometimes I think about mixing some Ambien in the Kool-Aid.

On my mark, share the Cheez-Its.
And I'm not always discouraged by the difficulty level of everyday activities. You know how camping can be an adventure filled with challenges and puzzles of packing and preparation, and then sometimes it's just hassle for hassle's sake? Autism is sort of the same dynamic. There are Sunday mornings where Christy and I are tiger-eyes'd and synchronized, we're tossing little rolled socks down the hallway and doing the fox-goose-grain trick to get the kids in the minivan - it's a coordination of effort that would make Gordon Ramsey proud. We roll up to the church early and sashay into the educational wing like our kids are the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team. Take that, Autism. Then some Sundays Autism sets his alarm clock early and has a cup of coffee. Autism then proceeds to saddle us western style and whip our flanks into the church at fifteen after - half the kids with no shoes on, certain people's hair doing things not fit for civilized society, and a mixture of tears, baby wipe juice and vanilla wafer dust all over everything we're dragging in. Hard to jump right into "His Robes for Mine" after the vibe of mutiny and tactical retaliation that we had in the minivan during the ride in.

But you can't go by me. I'm a domesticated Christian. A spoiled American. A product of western culture, the 40-hour workweek and Super Value Meals. I'm the what-not-to-do. But I do know a little about the other guys. Guys like Louis Zamparini, Lou Verroi in the Frozen Chosin, and Paul the Apostle. Guys that came through some REALLY hard times, and didn't lose their sense of hope or their composure. I know some folks that might trade for my troubles if given the chance. Folks like those at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and Nancy and Andrew, and basically anybody in Zimbabwe. The truth is I've got it pretty hard, but I'm pretty soft. There are MANY who have it harder. Way harder.

And here's the thing. I don't look at them and psych myself up to be harder, stronger, better. I look at them and know that the God who is able to bring good out of their situation is the same God I serve. And if He can give comfort to POW's in Japan, and soldiers freezing to death in Korea, and early-church prisoners, then He can comfort me. And if His grace is sufficient for medulloblastoma, and life-threatening heart malformations, and starvation, then His grace is sufficient for Autism. So I'm free to rejoice, and I should rejoice, even if I don't feel like it. Not rejoice despite the circumstance, like finding a happy place or transcending the physical. Not blocking out the circumstance with negative visualization or a stiff upper lip. But rather rejoicing in the circumstance, knowing that it is for my good and God's glory. That's the what-to-do.

Look, I hated algebra. But I got a tutor and got through it and got graduated and never had to do it again. And I hate Autism. But I'm gonna get through it and graduate to Heaven one day. And Josiah and Jalen and I are gonna talk for a long, long time. Quietly. Sitting down. And that's enough comfort and grace and hope for me.
Josiah getting a couple fingernails full of cinnamon roll icing. Precious.


  1. Thank you for your attention and prayers for Rebekah and reading "Bound By Grace".

    Your posts are such and an encouragement! God is so good and provides His best for all of us! Special children need special parents and yours certainly have them!


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