Grace, Theology and Autism

Grace, Theology and Autism

My husband and I saw the signs. We knew what to look for, and we had diagnosed our son ourselves years before we felt the necessity to seek a formal, medical diagnosis. It was as if all these people and situations were highly contagious and I had now become infected. If I had not been so well informed on autism, then I never would have given birth to someone on the spectrum. There. Fleshed out in a sentence – cause and effect – in all its explicitness, it looks utterly ridiculous. And yet…there are times when we operate this way, aren’t there? If I pray a certain prayer, use special words, God will answer me….If I fall asleep praying, tomorrow will be ok… If I ignore a pain in my chest, it will go away… If I stop thinking about something bad, it will just disappear…. If I think about happy things, I won’t have problems… Have you ever felt yourself reverting back to humanity’s ancient cultural myths? Out of desperation, helplessness? The visceral takes over not because we are not intelligent enough, or faithful enough, but simply out of fear. It is the knee-jerk reaction of humanity to hedge our bets.

…Of course, the fact is that God did not bless me with a son with Asperger’s because I had accumulated enough autism run-ins, but rather he blessed me with the gift of preparation.

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