So, I want to go even deeper with what I’ve been talking about
About a year ago, I discovered a wonderful documentary called “Autism: The Musical.” It’s an incredible ride, and will totally open you up to the wonderful world of autism spectrum disorders, which is a subject very dear to my heart.
But there’s one thing that always hits me hard, no matter how many times I show this documentary to people.
Elaine Hall (who later in the film calls herself ‘Coach E’ to the kids), a drama coach, adopts a son, Neal at the age of 1, unaware that little Neal has autism. She loves the boy with everything in her, but over the years, the wear and tear that comes with a child with autism is a catalyst for a lot of heartache. Her marriage falls apart, and she spends years with an average of 2 hours of sleep per night.
She tries everything to break through to Neal in his rage and fits. She talks to numerous psychologists and therapists… but the magic happens when she gets theater workers involved in Neal’s life.
They start playing with him in whatever manner he wants. Basically, they do what he does. If he wants to spin around and howl, they all would too… if he wants to jump and scream, they all would too.
As Elaine tells the story, she delivers the blow that always hits me square between the eyes. “We went into Neal’s world, and Neal began to emerge into ours.”
The first time I heard that I had to stop the movie and just digest that.
Wow, that’s exactly what the Father did for us. What an amazing picture of His love. What she did for Neal is exactly, totally and completely what God did for us.
From the very beginnings of the story God was entering our lives, entering our world of mania and chaos, to show us a greater reality. And it all culminated in Him becoming completely wrapped in our skin, walking and talking with us… getting completely on our level so that we could finally see Him, and in turn, follow Him into His amazing reality.
Elaine set her son free by laying down her life day after day for him with a relentless and unconditional love. That love covers all things.
That love, that sacrifices itself for another is the deepest call, the deepest magic, the deepest treasure of all time. It shakes nations to their core, and it brings the hardest of men to their knees.
That love is the foolishness of the mighty, they laugh at it and scoff at it… but in the end, they are crushed by it.
But as I was making clear in the previous post, it requires giving over the perspective that we’ve been raised with here. You have to decide to let your practicality be turned upside down.
This brings me back to the picture of the Master, stripping down, kneeling, and washing the servants feet. Christ took that low place. He taught us that the way to overcome all things is to lay down your life for all. This, and only this, is the hope of all mankind.
And this hope is spread one sacrifice at a time. It starts with you, today, coming to an impasse with someone. Instead of conquering, you choose to take care of them. It’s an active thing… it’s not passive. Instead of fighting to survive, you willingly and actively offer yourself… instead of drawing your sword, you actively offer your life.
Again, I can’t state enough that this is not a passive thing. I’m not advocating anyone being a door mat. What I am advocating is a strong and powerful shift in focus.
It is a shift where you’re looking outward instead of inward. You’re looking at the needs of others, and showing them with your whole being that they are worth more than all the world to you, more important than anything for yourself.
It turns suffering into a gift, and sorrow into an offering for a friend. It turns death and disease on their heads, an just like the cross, what Satan intended for evil, God turned into victory.
Each of us is called to do the same… to literally turn darkness into light.
It’s the hope of the whole world.