Sunday, March 26, 2006

Frank's Home.

After a week of being held captive, Frank is happy to be back home......and being able to use a proper computer (one that could never be described as slow) and reading a decent blog...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

As·per·ger's syndrome

Main Entry: As·per·ger's syndrome
Pronunciation: 'äs-"p&r-g&rz-
Variant: also As·per·ger syndrome /-g&r/
Function: noun
: a developmental disorder characterized by impaired social and occupational skills, by normal language and cognitive development, and by restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities often with above average performance in a narrow field against a general background of deficient functioning called also Asperger's disorder
As·per·ger /'äs-"per-g&r/, Hans, 20th-century Austrian psychiatrist. Asperger first described the syndrome that bears his name in an article published in 1944.

My middle daughter lives with Asperger’s Syndrome. Anyone who knows me, or has met my family will probably already know this.

If you meet my daughter, you might figure out something’s not quite right in the first 5 minutes, or it may take many months. It all depends on the day really. Some will never get it – they’ll just put it down to a badly behaved child, whose parents don’t discipline their kids.

Some people who have known my daughter for a long time want to believe that it’s brain damage (mental disorders have such a bad name for themselves), others think we should ask for drugs to help make her normal.

It’s that last comment that always gets me thinking. I mean what the hell is normal any way?

I have a theory, and I’ll be honest and say that it’s not a very solid theory (I’ll let you be the judge of that), as it’s only based on my observations of my daughter, and to some extent her best friend (who also lives with AS).

The thing with my daughter is that she has an amazing capacity to love, to forgive and to feel empathy for others. She has tremendous difficulty lying – the only times we find her lying is when she’s trying to get her sisters out of trouble.

But as mentioned above in the definition of AS, she also has impaired social skills. For one she’s far to trusting, loves almost everyone she meets, immediately. She knows no social boundaries or personal space and when she gets stressed out she seeks solace in solitude and the occasional DVD.

What stresses her out? Crowds, noise and in-justice.

So what’s my theory?

My theory is that it’s not my daughter that struggles to fit into society; it’s society that struggles to fit my daughter. You see I’m beginning to believe that maybe God intended us to all live with the joys of AS, that it’s only as society has grow and become consumer focussed that AS has become a mental disorder. It’s only as society falls further away from God that we turn our back on people who have this unconditional love. This innocent wonder. This desire to see justice.

My theory continues, along the lines that God intended us to experience AS. My theory continues along this line because I know where the perfect place for my daughter to live is. It’s in the Garden of Eden.

You see she loves animals. Animals have a calming effect, whilst also getting her excited (I know I just contradicted my self, but it’s true). And living in that wonderful place with only the animals, the man of her dreams (no crowds) and God.

That’s right, my daughter loves God, she just finds it difficult to find a place of worship that accepts her for who she is (we recently have found a place) but in the Garden, she could have called out to God and he would have played with her, rolling around in the grass tickling her. He would have loved her sense of humour (she has a great one!) and most importantly understood that everything she did, was coming from a point of love.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this – it’s probably spurred by a recent incident that she witnessed where an authority figure encouraged her and others to bully someone – she was the only one to refuse. It caused her much emotional pain. I’ve been mulling it over in my mind today, and just can’t seem to get sleep, so I figured I’d start writing and see what came out.

That’s all. If you read this, leave a comment, tell me what you think and more importantly tell me what you feel.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t worry, be happy. Well, not quite, but that’s the soppy Dayspring card version.

Don’t worry, pray about everything, be thankful and you’ll find peace. Real peace. God’s peace.

In other words, when we give our selves wholly to God, God gives himself wholly to us. Wow, what a trade. God gets all my worries and insecurities and I get his peace, love and understanding.

Of course it’s not that easy. I don’t want to give Him quite everything, but I still want everything in return. What is it with human nature that keeps us from quite fully grasping the prize?

Why am I always so reluctant, or is it just forgetfulness and slumber? I mean, look at this blog. It’s a record of my Bible reading and quite time with God. Sure, it’s not the whole of my time with God, but it is my attempt to have some regularity with it. To try some discipline. To get closer to God. And yes, I’m enjoying it, so why don’t I make it every day?

Hopefully it’s just early days and over time I will get better, I will start to love getting out of bed early and giving the first part of my day to God. It’s not that I don’t love it now, I just don’t do it that often.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ephesians 6:10-18

Spiritual warfare. It sounds a little ho hum really. I mean fighting against the unseen? Fighting against enemies that you only know about because you have faith?

But then I think about Frank Peretti’s Darkness books, or how Hollywood visualises the battle in Constantine, then it gets a little more real. A little scarier.

But unlike John Constantine, we don’t rely on our own strength and cunning, or religious artefacts and holy water. We have something better, something that God has given us.

Spiritual armour.

So go ahead and read Ephesians 6:10-18, have a selah moment, this is important stuff.

Me, I should have been doing this a lot better than I have, but I’m back on the road again, and I’m doing my best to discover a fresh what’s important to me.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What is my love worth?

Bonhoeffer had a transformation sometime in 1931. He went from being a Theologian to being a Christian according to Bethge in Bonhoeffer’s biography.

A student of Bonhoeffer recalls his teaching stating “that we should never forget that every word of Holy Scripture was a quite personal message of God’s love for us.”

But what is God’s love worth to us? It’s a hard concept to be truthfully answered, especially from my soft, comfortable western Christianty. I’ve had to come to terms on many occasions with stuff that God has wanted me to put on the alter, so to speak. Things in my life that He wanted me to offer to him.

But how far would I be willing to go? As in reality God wants everything. He wants our life. Would I be willing to die for my love?

I hope so.

Yet as daunting as it sounds, the actual physical giving up of my life is unlikely to be required of me in my present situation.

But from my experiences of giving up stuff to God, it wouldn’t be that bad, as God often doesn’t want to take anything away, he just wants reassurance that He is number one in your life.

And it’s not just for his benefit. It’s more for our own.

Life is a journey and if we’re on this journey with God then it’s a journey of discovery and growth. And it’s through being prepared to give up stuff, by realising that God is always first in our lives that we grow.

1 Corinthians 2:9-13

What God has prepared for those who love him… Only we know what God has prepared for us. That’s a freaky concept, and one I’m struggling with this early in the morning.

No one can conceive what God has in store for us, except that we have God’s spirit within us, and the truth is revealed through his spirit. So I guess it’s that inner peace, that uncanny knowledge of something that you can’t actually prove.

It’s faith.