for the communion of the saints
A few Sundays ago, Kevin led the thoughts before the communion in worship. I missed the public presentation because I was in the nursery singing Jesus Loves Me to a few beautiful toddlers, but Kevin had shared it with me the night before. These thoughts, given by the Spirit, brought both of us to tears. I know that they will mean something to many of you as well, so I couldn’t resist sharing them. So, this one’s from Kevin’s heart…
Moments of clarity. In our fast paced, busy-filled lives, these can tend to be few and far between. And as hard as it is for those of us who are “neuro-typical” to find those (and I use that term loosely), those with Autism must face even greater challenges with this. You see, though Autism is certainly a spectrum and no two affected by it are just alike, one of the main characteristics is having extra sensitivity to external stimuli. Let me explain a bit.
As you sit there listening to what I’m saying, you may be distracted by the tug of a child wanting some extra attention right now or you may be thinking about what a great day you had yesterday or dreading a call you have to make later this afternoon or thinking about all the work awaiting you at your desk tomorrow morning or where you are going to take your dad to eat for lunch today and how long the wait might be or…. Wow! Exhausting just to think about it. Those with autism may additionally be distracted by the way the light is shining on them or the sound of the hum in the power line or the near deafening sound of a child crying way down the hall in the nursery. Sounds and feelings that for most of us fade into the background tend to come to the forefront of their experience.
I say all that to say that there are times where Adam will just blow us away with what seems to be an amazing moment of clarity. And it almost always has something to do with Jesus. Two major instances come to my mind. One night while we were doing our nighttime prayers, I was nearly falling off the cliff of exhaustion and I confess just wanting to get it over with. Wanting to check the box off my list so I could say that no one could accuse me of not trying to teach my children about Jesus. Not a great moment of clarity for me. For Adam, praying tends to be about repetition and familiarity. We usually have to prompt him to change his prayers up and over time he’ll be able to generalize and start to change things up a bit on his own. But this particular night as he started to pray, he repeated the lyrics to one of his (and our) favorite songs. The song is called “East to West” by Casting Crowns and it speaks of the Love of God for us…that it is as far as the east is from the west. I couldn’t tell what he was doing at first, but I was soon able to catch on and recognize what he was doing.
Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
’cause I can’t bear to see the man I’ve been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
’cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
I left the room much different than I entered it. With tears and running to share it with the one I knew would appreciate it as much as I. Clarity.
Last night we were driving home from “guess who’s coming to dinner” and we heard another song that reminded me of another Adam moment of clarity. “Lovely” by Chris Tomlin speaks of the wonder and majesty of our God and just how amazing and wonderful and indescribable He is.
The first verse of the song goes like this:
I watch Your wonders fill the sky
Over the mountains reaching high
The same majesty floods my life
I stand in awe
I was walking with Adam outside at a park among nature as he just started to repeat these words out of the blue. Again, I couldn’t quite place what he was doing but I recognized the chorus as he said:
Lovely, there is none more lovely
In all the universe, there is no one lovelier
Worthy, there is none more worthy
Listen to this next part, church:
I try to find the words, there’s so much more Your worthy of
From a boy who struggles so much with the spoken word, “I try to find the words”. Clarity.
As we come to the table this morning, Jesus is here, brothers and sisters. If you are struggling or don’t know just how much He loves you, let me tell you it’s this much. The second verse of “Lovely”:
Up on the cross with open arms
The love of God reaches far
The same majesty floods my heart
I stand in awe
It’s time for a moment of clarity, church. As we participate in this love feast together, celebrate the love our Father has for us in Jesus Christ. Don’t leave this place today wondering how much God loves you or if God loves you or if your sins can be forgiven. All the great questions of this life are “Yes” in Christ.