Friday, June 15, 2007

Autism

When I first served as a counselor for mentally disabled adults at my church conference camp, one of our campers was a guy named Larry. He walked with a gimp and the only thing he could say was a faint, "yes" or "no." I was told he had autism.

Years later, I've learned that autism comes in many different forms. For example, I once met a boy who has Asperger Syndrome. He loved to talk. If my friend didn't say his son had a problem, I never would have noticed in our brief meeting.

So when I came across Steve Hayes, at Cajun Roast Beef, writing about his son's struggle with autism and what the Lord is teaching him through it, I was touched:
Autistic people are in their own world and they're only capable of thinking of themselves. In light of that, it's very important to stretch them to think about others. Here's what that means for us: We have to set up our home in such a way that Pierce has to ask for anything and everything that he wants.

The reason we need Pierce to ask for stuff is because we need him to know that, in life, you can't just go around grabbing anything you want without asking. In other words, what I'm starting to learn is that it's not wrong to desire things, but it's very wrong to take action on those desires without asking. It seems to me that this is why God tells us over and over again in the Bible to ask for what we want. He says that we "have not because we ask not" (James 4:2), and states in Psalm 37:4 that we are to "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Steve has posted three stories--one, two, and three. In them, you can see the pain and struggle, but you can also sense the Lord's presence.

1 comment:

Gregory Schwarz said...

I believe that the disabled campers that I meet at Camp White are some of the most unique people ever. They just don't have a care in the world, most are always happy and it reminds me that I should always look at the bigger picture in life and not to always worry about small things. I think my life is a lot less stressful with camp and the campers that I have given opportunity to interact and serve with. I don't think I will ever forget the opportunities given to me through White Memorial Camp it is truly a special place.