Life in the Spectrum

10/02/11 | Posted by HughB

It was our autistic son’s seventh birthday this week and it got me reflecting on how he has developed since his diagnosis five years ago. I can still remember clearly the first time he properly acknowledged me.



I had come home to find him sat on the work surface in the kitchen while my wife was peeling the carrots. As I walked through the door, he waved to me and said, “Hullo, hullo, hullo”. My heart simply leapt for joy and with tears in my eyes I just had to give him a huge hug.
Jesus talked about “rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10) And at that moment I wondered if I was getting some insight into what God feels when a person turns to him for the very first time and acknowledges his love.

Research suggests that most of us describe ourselves as spiritual people and yet we go through our days seldom acknowledging God’s presence. We seem quite happy to live our lives our own way without any recognition that there may be someone higher involved in this world. It is only when needs don’t get met or a disaster happens that suddenly God comes into the frame to get the blame or for his existence to be questioned.

I suppose that we should not be surprised. God warned his people that they would be

“ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing but never perceiving” (Isaiah 6:9).

My dictionary defines autism as “self-absorption…characterised by lack of response to people and actions and limited ability to communicate.”

I wonder if when it comes to spirituality we aren’t all somewhere on the autistic spectrum. And, if so, what does that means for those of us who call ourselves Disciples of Christ and those who are still seeking?


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Thanks, Hugh. Sorry for the delay - just saw this blog today and found it deeply moving. A timely reminder this week that I need to stop and be thankful - take time to stop and smell the roses.

#1. By Andrew Wooding on February 21, 2011




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