Are You Someone Else?

 

My 9 year old Stevie loves to act out the shows he watches. 

His two current favorites are "Doc McStuffins", or acting out the 50 foot 2-year old, Adam, in the old movie, "Honey, I Blew Up The Kid!"

Thankfully, he is happy to use his toy trucks and plastic doll house as the props and he assigns himself the role of the gigantic Adam, stomping through the house, destroying everything in sight.

Yes, we do worry about the house.

Stevie has autism, and is particularly gifted at imitating these scenes. He memorizes the scripts the background music, the sound effects as well as the body movements of the characters. When he sets his mind on learning a scene, he really learns the scene! He lives and breathes it.

He is very good at being all these other people. Sometimes he gets lost in his scripts and can't focus on being himself. He isn't doing the things that Stevie is supposed to be doing. This happens at school most of the time, when he needs to do writing or math but can't break out of the scripts to take the role of being himself.

When he requests things, he will often follow a script. "Mommy may I have ___" was taught to him at a very young age and he still uses it today.  When faced with wanting to say something that he doesn't have the spontaneous or taught words for, he will often insert a script from a show to get his point across.

For example, when we had our first snow this fall, he sat at the window and started singing, "The snow comes down and the floods come up and the house on the sand went...smooshed away!" This was one of his favorite songs at that time. Since he didn't know to say, "Mommy! Look out the window, it's snowing!!", he serenaded me instead!

He is very good at being all these other people, but we rarely see him being so conversant, attentive and active when he is simply being himself.

I wonder how often we do the same thing?

When someone is a role model for us, we tend to imitate them. We learn about them, we may even act like them at times, or adopt a phrase they use as one of our own. It's not so different from what Stevie does. Used the right way, it can be a good thing. After all, Jesus said to imitate and follow Him (Matthew 16:24)! 

I have heard different artists say the struggle with similar things. Dennis Jernigan struggled with trying so hard to write music like Keith Green because he admired his music so much. But God intervened and told him that the world already has a Keith Green. Now the world needs a Dennis Jernigan--that is why He made him Dennis. Dennis Jernigan has impacted thousands of lives by being himself and writing the music God gave him to write.

It is true for us, too.

God made you and me to be you and me. The world already has the other people we admire. They don't have us, and we are the only people who can be us.

God has given each of us special gift and purposes that only we can fulfill. He made it for us, not for "that person". His plan isn't for the talented and gifted people of the world to do everything, because they are so good at it.

His plan is to use each of us to do the things he created us to do.

I wonder what the world would look like if everyone played their own roles and fulfilled their purposes that God created them for?

What do you think? 

What is your role, and how are you developing it? Let's discuss it in the comments!

 

First Friends

First Friends

"Mommy look! We're friends!" 2-year old Joy calls to me with sparkling eyes that ignite anticipation in the onlooking siblings, as she marvels at a simple interaction with her brother.

Dressed to the nines, with a fluffy, pink polkadot skirt and a pink shirt that paired with her head,  completes a gingerbread girl, she stands on the couch with Stevie, arms out in anticipation of holding his hands and twirling a round of "ring around the rosies".

He reaches for her and her eyes widen so large they overtake her tiny body.  She loves her big brother with a big-love.

"We're friends!" the beautiful words ring in my ears.  I feel it clear to my feet.  My heart leaps high and then rushes forth creating an ocean mixed with the vibrant colors of excitement, love, and pride.

Friends.

Stevie has his first friend, someone who follows him around,  chases him, imitates him, desires to hang out with him, and absolutely adores him. She talks about him in her sleep and can't wait for him to come home from school.

When Stevie enters the house, the first thing he does is shed his clothing. One piece at a time they fall behind him as he walks toward his room.  As if on cue, Joy traces his steps and scrunches up his pants on her tiny legs. She puts his big-kid shoes on her toddler feet; his shirt on her body like a casual dress. She puts on every bit of "Stevie droppings" that she can and looks up at us with pride.

She wants to be just like him.

Even though he doesn't give her much attention, it doesn't slow her down. When he shifts his attention toward her, she feels prized and it spurs her on. 

Joy loves Stevie to pieces.  She knows it is an honor when he breaks from his script to include her in it, or better yet, when he takes her up on the offer to let him into her world.

She loves him, and everything about him.  Her curiosity about him drives her to push his buttons in effort to engage with him, and she gets farther than the rest of us.

Being absolutely adored, is something that Stevie is soaking up; he seems to enjoy it in his hard-to-get ways.

What a great reminder of God's absolute adoration of us, and his desire for us to adore him in return. He pushes our buttons to stretch us, and he may irritate us to engage us. He will go to extremes to get to know us, just like Joy does with Stevie.  He has great pride in us imitating Him, and following Him around--going where He goes.

John 15:14-16  You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

A final thought: Many times I have wondered if Stevie will ever make a real friend--as in having a back and forth relationship where both people enjoy each others company.  Little did I know his first true friend would be living in the same house. The best of friends: siblings.  God always provides.