Headlines from the New York Times for Tuesday, March 14, 2017
‘Perfectly Normal’: Autism Though a Lens
Eli Gottlieb writes about the autism spectrum disorder. Mr. Gottlieb’s brother is severely autistic and resides in a facility for developmentally disabled persons. The subject of Gottlieb’s documentary (you can see the film in today’s New York Times) is a person who is a high functioning man on the spectrum. This is not the biggest piece of news today, but it greatly interests me because I have a grandson on the autism spectrum. Below are quotes from the article. I hope they induce you to read the entire article.
Of course there’s no way for those without autism to actually understand the autistic experience. I grew up with a severely autistic older brother named Joshua, and after observing him closely for more than 40 years, find his emotional and cognitive process as fundamentally mysterious as ever. The impenetrability of autism, with its seemingly endless variants and its essential “otherness,” is its hallmark. All this renders Jordan’s testimony that much more useful and intriguing. He is a reporter at a hinge-point of consciousness, able to inhabit his condition while describing it for us — whether we are “neurotypicals” or lodged somewhere on the spectrum — with remarkable precision and insight.
Another thing the two (Gotlieb’s brother and the subject of the article) have in common is their age, and as such, their membership in that most challenging of demographics for those with autism and developmental difficulties: adulthood. Eclipsed by the ballooning interest in (and apparently rising incidence of) autism in childhood, those like Jordan and my brother exist only in the underfunded shadows of the major studies, the breakthroughs in treatment, the national debates. A peculiar silence currently surrounds the population of adults with autism, living out their lives in homes and institutions.
Readings from Isaiah 26.1-6 for Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Isaiah 26.2-4 Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps faith may enter in. Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
Passion for God’s character and a fixed disposition of trust is required to to experience the security that God desires for us. The person who does this has cast himself or herself upon God without any reservation.
To trust our ability partly and God partly is the surest prescription for anxiety and insecurity. If we live double-mindded (see James 1.6-8) fashion, we can expect to never experience God’s peace. Note, the Hebrew word for peace is “shalom.” It indicates wholeness of life and well-being.
The issue of trust is the constant theme of Isaiah 7-39. The question for individuals and nations is whether we will trust God and align our lives with his purposes, or whether we will arrogantly seek our own best thinking.
Prayers for Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Dear God, we pray today for children and adults with disabilities. By your grace may they experience your love in a tangible way that surpasses their cognitive abilities. May you reach the deep places of their lives and surround them with your love and provision. Please grant leaders in all aspects of society to provide care to these precious children of yours.