Something has been on my mind all week-long. What I have been stewing over is neediest and sticking a person’s nose into conversations that wasn’t about them to begin with. What should have been a joyous week turned into a week of misunderstandings and bull-headed discussions. I have gone back and forth on posting this blog because I don’t want to cause problems, but I also feel that people needs to understand that things aren’t always what they seem.
The theme for this years Vacation Bible School was called “Submerged” and it was based on Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” Each day the students explored how Jesus saw people and examined the truth within themselves and deep within their hearts and souls
I had to ask my grandson permission to discuss what I am going to cover in this blog post. JJ is 8 years old. By all appearance he is a normal hot-headed boy. He has a temper and a ornery streak. During Vacation Bible School, he was hard to handle each day. Based on his behavior a nice way to explain his actions is that he was being a bully and highly agitated. His expressions on his face were like daggers. If people didn’t know him like I know him, I would never want a child like him in my classroom. Some would even say that he needed a good paddling. In the past I would have said the exact same thing. That is until I went with him to a Dr’s appointment.
JJ’s has a pretty difficult diagnosis and it is hard for those who aren’t familiar with children like JJ to understand it. So, I was getting pretty defensive over the whole thing when a couple of the ladies were saying some horrible things and thinking that JJ was just being a belligerent child who is spoiled rotten. I would say that this weeks lesson about not judging the person on the outside and seeing who they are on the inside.
You, see, JJ has ADHD with Defiance Disorder and High Functioning Autism/Asperburgers. One the surface adults may not see this, but God does knows this. I was telling a couple of ladies that they don’t need to know all the information on his diagnosis and it isn’t as if people need to explain everything that is going on medically or mentally. But, I was backed into a corner when it came to explaining what shouldn’t have needed explained. Nobody and especially not a child should have to be backed into a corner like he was. What makes it even worse is that those pushing were told over and over again to leave it alone and to leave him alone since they don’t understand. Basically this is JJ in a nutshell.
The information below is from WebMD
- Autism is a brain disorder in which communication and interaction with others are difficult. The symptoms of autism may range from total lack of communication with others to difficulty in understanding others’ feelings. Because of the range of symptoms, this condition is now called autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Symptoms of Autism/Asperbergers
- A lack of skill in interacting with others
- Little understanding of the abstract uses of language, such as humor or give-and-take in a conversation
- Obsessive interest in specific items or information
Unlike people with other forms of autism, people with high-functioning autism or Asperberger’s syndrome want to be involved with others. They simply don’t know how to go about it. They may not be able to understand others’ emotions. They may not read facial expressions or body language well. As a result, they may be teased and often feel like social outcasts. The unwanted social isolation can lead to anxiety and depression.
Lessons throughout the week were about;
Prepare to embark on an adventure like no other, scouring the mysterious fathoms of the deep sea. Thrilling discoveries await just beyond the portholes of your submarine. Things look very different once you get below the surface – and that’s true for life above the surface, too.
As kids submerge themselves in God’s Word, they will discover that Jesus saw people differently. He didn’t just see what’s on the outside; He saw who people were down deep.
As kids learn to see themselves and others as Jesus sees them, they can realize that everyone needs a Savior – even those who look like they have it all together. A relationship with Jesus Christ changes everything!
I don’t really want to go into more details about the whole week, but I would like to cover one of the conversations that happened this week. I just basically want to say that nobody should be judged and that God has a plan for all of us and that He loves the children, flaws and all.
Now, back to the lessons for this week.
As I think about this particular verse and the lessons of the week, I would hope that those I am close are those I can tell my deepest and darkest secrets to. It’s important to have people in our lives that can look at my face and know that something is wrong. I would say that my best friend Lisa is this way. She can tell when there is something going on with me and I can tell when she is having difficult day.
Throughout the week we discussed how God also knows us more than we know ourselves. He gets us. He doesn’t see just the surface, He see’s everything. When it comes to acquaintances, it is different unfortunately. We might tell them bits and pieces about our lives, but for the most part we humans or at least I save my deepest feelings and worries for those I am closest to and trust. I can’t help but wonder why humans are that way. Personally I feel that people who go to church wears the most masks to conceal who we really are. When we should actually be who we are. Who are we fooling anyhow? It sure wouldn’t be God since He knows us more than we know us.
I find it interesting how we wear our masks for those around us and when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. We go through the motions of praying and asking God to forgive us of our sins. If you are like me, I will ask Him to forgive me of the sins that I find less sinful. What I mean by “less sinful” is the times I would get mad at someone for saying a bad word or when I have said “little white lies”, which by the way, a lie is a lie. I am pretty good about asking for good things to happen to me and for me. But, rarely do I ask him to search me since I know that could be a loaded question.
I am guilty of not asking Him to look deep down in my heart to see if there is anything in me that needs to be changed. I wonder if the reason I don’t open myself up in this way is because I don’t want to acknowledge those sins that makes me uncomfortable. When the Holy Spirit searches us and convicts us of our sins, we do our darndest to rationalize it away. Or I’m not the same person I use to be, so lets forget it ever happened. If you are like me, I will still carry that sin with me, I have to deal with it in the right way and that is through Christ.
When we pray, we might ask him to forgive us of our little sins and ask for good things to happen to us, but we never ask him to search us. Or, at least I leave out that part. It’s hard to ask God to look deep down in our heart and see if there is anything within us that needs changing. We hesitate to open up in this way because it’s uncomfortable. When the Holy Spirit searches us and convicts us of sin, we rationalize it away. Or, we have been living our life with a particular sin for so long, that it just becomes a part of who we are. Jesus already knows, so we aren’t fooling Him.
My friend and I were talking about the lesson plan they were going to be receiving on this particular day. They were slated to discuss how we need to really get to the know people instead of getting to know someone based on outside appearances.
As my friend and I were discussing my grandson JJ and using him as an example about there are those who thinks that he is a spoil child that is out of control. They figure that JJ is being rude and out of line. My friend and I were discussion how it is dangerous to let him participate in certain activities.
In closing, I just want to say that I needed to write this blog so I can bring it to God. I also feel that this last week is a good reminder to each and everyone that we never know what a person is really going through. God knows all things and it is important for us to go to God and to love others in the same way that God does.
What I learned from this blog post is that I don’t appreciate people getting into my bubble and I shouldn’t have to answer 20 questions about my own life and medical issues unless I choose to share it. A child shouldn’t have to be someone other than who they are. They shouldn’t have to wear masks to make others happy. They shouldn’t have to go through a check list about why they do what they do. All they need to do is to be loved. If they choose to share, they can, otherwise, just be caring. If someone is concerned about the child, then talk to the parent. But, don’t assume what you are witnessing is what is actually going on.
I once had a friend tell me that people don’t really understand what my illness is and what Guillian Barre Syndrome is or what Myasthenia Gravis is. She thought it would be a good idea to tell a whole room of people about what I have so they can better understand. Needless to say that never happened and it will never happen. Just like JJ shouldn’t have to go through a check list to explain to everyone. I am defensive when it comes to my grand-kids and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. I know there is no perfect child just as there is no perfect adult
So, now, I will close this with this weeks verse and lesson, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.”
If this offends anyone, I am sorry, but I felt I needed to speak up about judging others when we are not the judge. That’s Gods job.