05 September 2010

Autism and the Word of God

God can still speak to people, and prophecies can still happen.  I believe this in theory.  In practice?  I'm getting tired of flaky Christianity.

Come on, guys.  Do you think in Bible times that someone got a "word" in synogogue every Saturday?  Or that they needed to share a "verse of the day" in the town square (mark your X if you "like" this.  Let's start a REVIVAL here on facescroll!).  Really. 

Um, I know plenty of people I genuinely like who do this sort of thing, and I guess it's harmless enough.  But IMO real relationship and personal revival is a tough, tough thing.  It takes a little more than you and a million of your friends and friends' friends to click "like" for the Holy Spirit to sweep you off your feet in some "new and fresh way."

I'm thinking that God is alive and He's powerful, and I really can't speak directly for Him, but based on my understanding of scripture, He *likely* isn't going to tell some lady I've barely met a bunch of stuff to say to me.  Sure, it could happen.  I guess.  Elijah and all.

But if that's God, I have a beef with him.  Why, God, are you directing some lady who has never dealt with autism in her whole life to come up to me and declare that YOU told her my children are perfectly NORMAL and they are well in Jesus' Name?  (Yes.  They are normal.  Do I really need to hear that condescending stuff from her?  Do I, God?  Because we both know she couldn't hack nursery duty, dealing with just TWO of my six children, but she feels empowered to say this anyhoo.  Is this a "refining" thing, or should I do the "Get behind me, Satan" thing?  I really wanna know.)

Anyway... so God directed her to tell me that. 

THEN, a few months later, He directed her to write some detailed instructions as to how I'm going to run my family.  We're talking a family schedule, the prayers I need to say, and the claims I need to make (or the magic won't work, I s'pose). 

It was very nice of her to write that note for me and present it to me just after I had, with much pain and anguish, revealed to the ladies of the church that one of my sons has been in the mental institution for the tenth time and was quite ill, shockingly ill, our family in turmoil, no help on the horizon.  It really hurt my feelings to see her happy-happy-joy-joy face as she presented me with this instruction without one whisper of, "God wants me to help in a practical way with dinner or childcare!  Call me!" Or, "I'm so heartbroken for you!" Or... something that would show genuine empathy rather than the ol' giddy smile because she has the "joy of the LORD" or whathaveyou.

And dear God, why did You instruct her to spell my name wrong on the paper? 

Is it a "sign" that I should be so, so, sooo done with "church" as an institution?  Because I've been getting a lot of those.

I'm free now.  I'm free.

16 comments:

  1. Good grief. I wish this was some kind of joke, but I have been around enough "christians" like this to know it's not. I'm sorry Mrs. C.

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  2. Me too, Deb. I can't say that church is all harmful, but that long-term it is not going to work for our family. I was told flat-out that there would be no one-to-one help for Woodjie as he ages.

    Translation: enjoy coming to services now, because later? He will outgrow nursery on his fourth birthday and then must behave himself like the other kids in the preschool class and sit quietly for the Bible stories.

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  3. I am done with the *happy~clappy* crowd. Where's their sense of reality? Do they even read their bibles? Will stop now. I feel a rant coming on.

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  4. Good grief! What is going on with these people?! Is this what the "prosperity gospel" is all about? Just sweep everything under the rug and pretend that everything is OK? I'm so sorry, Mrs. C. Once again, wishing that I could lend a helping hand!

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  5. Oh boy .....I REALLY wished we lived closer. Although, I am afraid that I would be getting us into all sort of trouble with replies like "Of COURSE my children are normal - God is telling YOU to get help!"

    Church would be a great place to be if it weren't for the people, huh?

    Hugs!

    Steph

    BTW - My word verifivation was "furch" - read what you want into that.....LOL!

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  6. I'm sorry you had these experiences; I've read other families and individuals who've written about how the church members and ministers failed them at the times their help was most needed. I suspect that they fail not just those dealing with special needs children, but those who are desperately in need in general.

    If church is something important to you, I hope you'll find a church home that will be truly supportive.

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  7. Church is made up of the people inside it and if this is the way they treat reality and real life issues then you need to find another church.
    Or it will find you ;)
    I've heard this same attitude and behaviour in relation to autism/mental illness a few times now and it belongs in the middle ages.

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  8. Oh wow.

    There's nothing wrong with religion, actually. It's just the way people put it nowadays. The practices... the weeklies... ugh. It's become a sort of business for some "religious" institutions, too. It's just unfortunate...

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  9. Mrs. C., Don't let the whackos of the world trick you into beliveing for an instant that they represent the Lord.

    My Mother-in-law is a hateful, mean spirited, hiding-behind-her-Bible-because-she-knows-where-she's-going-to-end-up kind of a Christian.One of my husbands best friends lay dying, and she told us that God was telling her it was taking so long for him to die because he was in limbo, having not accepted Christ as his saviour. Pleeeeeze.....God sends her messages about the dying??? The dying that she doesn't know??? We haven't spoken to her in years. She's a total loon.Rabid about church, but a loon.

    Maybe God did have this person speak to you....but not to push you away. Maybe it was to make you see their flaws, and their lack of tact. Maybe they need your prayers for brains and tact. Maybe they need you to show them that with your plate as full as it is, and you meeting every challenge with grace and aplomb, that you still have the time to include them and their busybody antics in your prayer.

    Maybe her actions weren't about you at all...maybe they were about her own lack of God...and this is your opportunity to bring Him to her.

    Or maybe she's just a knuckle dragging witch who wants you to feel as badly as she does.....but does that mean you let her succeed?

    Hope that you don't let someone's ugliness define your relationship with Him. Not that you need church to have Him. Going to church makes you a Christian about as much as standing in a gargage makes you a car.

    Enough of my rant. Have a better day tomorrow. :)

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  10. Ganeida, I wish I could be more happy-clappy, and I think that's an ok thing to be most times... but the "bear one another's burdens" ought to mean more than just a smile and an I'm prayin' for ya/keep on truckin'. :)

    Sue, I can at least say that while I have a good notion that the leadership knows this person acts this way, that the giddy joy thing is not the way they act all the time. Um, I woulda left after the first service if that were the case...

    Stephanie, I'm reading ALL KINDS of things into "furch." I think the Lord has spoken through you today, really I do. :P

    KWombles, I'm thinking I'm done forever, but we'll see in 4,000 years if I ever feel like submitting to that stuff again. Siigh, it wasn't just that. That's all I feel *empowered* to blog about presently.

    Ro, I agree! Middle ages! With the chastity belts and the world is flat thing! There.

    I agree, Oliver. I'm staying home. Thanks for coming by, bud! :)

    Blondee, actually I've had another person accidentally give what I believe to be God's REAL Word over the situation in the bathroom after I went to go cry there. That what sometimes passes for joy is really blissful ignorance.

    She covered her mouth with a big OOPS after she said it, but really... I think really... God spoke through that little woman just then.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. I have been thinking about this whole church and disability thing a LOT lately in terms of healing and curing... ever since I wrote about Beverly's hair/liver/scalp infection. The doctor did a pretty lousy (as is non-existent) job in telling me what to do with my child who had a contagious infection that he couldn't cure because the medicine that cures it is contraindicated. He really didn't even talk to me about how to prevent spreading the infection to every member of my household. If it wasn't for my own nursing background and the understanding of healing being different and more holistic than curing, I may not have tried to do anything. The rest of the family (maybe even close friends) would have been continually getting infected. We would have been taking 6-week courses of strong medication -- over and over. Some people might have decided we weren't worth the risk. Beverly would have had an itchy scalp and would probably, eventually started losing her hair.

    Western medicine is all about curing. I think Western Christianity is stuck on cure too. When, instead, we need to look for a way to live well without a cure. I am not really talking about losing hope. I know God can still intervene. But, in our kids, for some reason... He has chosen another course. And, all the church wants to offer is prayer for a cure. When what we really, truly need is respite, acceptance and accommodation.

    I had someone call me on stating society was "willfully blind" to the needs of people like my daughter. She thought I was being unnecessarily harsh. But, really, if you look at how society has treated those with developmental disabilities and mental illness, I think it describes how we want to pretend that these people don't exist by marginalizing and/or institutionalizing them.

    No answers. Oh, the weirdest thing someone said to me? When my daughter was about 10 someone told me I should pray and ask God to protect Bat-Oni from the effects of alcohol en utero. By failing to do this, I was limiting God to acting in the present and keeping him from acting in space and time. Yep, I am that powerful.

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  13. If only you could be that powerful, I'd be asking you to pray over lists and sending $2,000 in for you to send bitty prayer cloths to my house just like the televangelists...

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  14. PS. I loved your comment... for its depth... just had nothing of substance to add to it... nodded my head through it all.

    PPS. Hugs, prayers, strength. Keep in touch.

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  15. Ugh.

    There is a blog post brewing in the back of my mind about this: If you claim God tells you one thing, but I believe something different, either I'm not following God or you're blaspheming the Holy Spirit... neither of which are very good. ...but just a caution: In the Old Testament--and even in Jesus' day--they stoned people who claimed to be sharing God's truth but weren't. ...of course, they also tried to stone Jesus because they thought He had it wrong, so, yeah...

    ~Luke

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  16. And Luke, I don't think any of us have it all together yet. I know there are certain lines drawn in scripture, but I also think it's easy to misapply verses to situations God probably wouldn't intend.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)