“I'm Luke Skywalker!”
“No, I am Luke Skywalker!”
“No, you can be Darth Vader!”
“NOOOO! I want to be Luke Skywalker! You can be Darth Vader or Han Solo!!!”
“Okay, I will be Luke Skywalker and you can be Han Solo!”
Sound familiar? Children arguing over which hero they will portray in their pretense of saving the galaxy from evil!
Not in my house! Not since Levi, my non-verbal son with autism, became verbal. The quarrel has changed and brought about a new dimension of strife.
Levi, instead chooses the bad guy or underdog, as the role he desires to play.
Levi, dwells on the redeeming quality that we failed to see in that character and applies it as proof that they become commendable under his prodding. He perceives them as the character most likely to need a fan club to venture into something better. He is determined with the right input they will see the light and repent of their dastardly ways.
Honestly, what kid watches Sponge Bob and wants to pretend he is Plankton? Not just any Plankton, but a good version of Plankton? What child who loves In N Out Burger's Krabby Patties (as they are known in our household), would sacrifice to eat Plankton's chum believing Plankton would realize his value in that fellowship and come to work under Mr. Krab as a faithful and loyal worker? Is this a missionary in the making?
Herein is the strife: Levi's siblings don't conceive the villain they love to hate can be good. They want to proclaim victory over the bad guy, not rehabilitate him. They want to be heroes. Conquerors! Good triumphs over evil!
Levi's version of good triumphing over evil is not to conquer the person, but to redeem them so that only the evil inside of them is conquered, but the good is allowed to thrive.
My son's autism inspires his perspective to be quite contrary from ours. I am in the midst of learning to “hear” him. To ponder his words, because God often speaks to me through him.
I steer Levi in another direction, only when it is truly needed. God created him with autism for a purpose to serve. Sometimes his concepts unhinge me, as I don't want him to be injured or deceived by the wicked. Then I realize, it is time to hit my knees and entrust Levi to the God who designed him and open my ears and mind to what God is speaking!
I wonder how often I get so caught up in what is repulsive about a person that I miss out on the sign that they are ready to be harvested? I speculate how many times I have desired to abolish a person for their mouth that actually needed my arm to come around them and speak loving truth into their life? Did I forget the wretch I once was before the Lord redeemed me? Am I missing out on opportunity because my mind is caught up in good vs evil to the point that I forgot to love my enemy (or the gal who just slammed her shopping cart into mine and grabbed the last box of cereal I was reaching for first)? To pray for those who persecute me (or cut me off while driving)? Have I forgotten that God sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (or my neighbor who let his dog loose to poop in my yard again)? Am I seeking to be perfect as my heavenly Father is perfect? (Matt. 5:43-47)