When We Become Visible: Easter Reflections

*** Warning!  This post does not discuss autism or children.***

Cross

But I do hope you will continue to read on anyway!

As many of you know, I have an aggressive case of Rheumatoid Disease, one of the many chronic, debilitating, "invisible illnesses".  It is amazing that a person can experience pain so deep, yet still that pain is unseen by others. I know many of you can relate to this concept if not from a physical reason, from an emotional-pain point of view.

I have recently had a lot of trouble with my shoulder. I must have injured it during a flare that involved my shoulders, but who knows? RD has a mind of it's own. Anyway, I was looking for the sling I have from injuries past, and as I thought about wearing it, I thought about how that visible sign of injury helps so much with the kids, to remember to be gentle.  Then I remembered a post by the RA Guy, entitield, "Becoming Visable".  The RA Guy was having a big flare, and found himself putting on various braces and therefore, his illness was becoming visible to others.

As I sat in church, thinking about this, looking at the people sitting in chairs listening to a sermon on David (a man who had many hurts himself), I couldn't help but think about the David & Goliath story.  I have heard many parallels to David and Goliath being like us and our Giant Sins.  And I thought about the hurts of the people sitting in church.

Their hurts are invisible, but I know they are there. We all have them.

I think about what it would be like if we all made our hurts visible.

If we saw on each other, all the healing that God has performed as plain as a black sling over a white ruffled blouse.

We'd see people with similar stories; we wouldn't feel alone.  We would see people we could relate to and encourage.

We wouldn't be afraid to reach out to those in the midst of what we have already been through, in years prior. There would be no secrets, we'd all know it all.

It's kind of a vulnerable thought.

This past couple years, this has happened several times: A friend discloses her story to me. Out of desperation, she reveals tremendous hurts and she has no way to know how she will come out on the other side. She doesn't see how healing is even possible.

She has no idea that I have similar stories and I know that God can heal even thatSo, she fears my rejection; my judgement.

I can thank God that I was able to share my story with her.  The invisible stories of years past, now visible.

Now she knows she's not alone. She knows healing is possible because she knows that it happened to her friend; real live flesh-and-blood has made it through to the other side. There is hope she can see. Visible Hope!

What a difference story sharing makes.

But only if we decide to become visible.

Only if we humbly become vulnerable. It comes with risk: mess, judgment, anger, rejection.

But it also comes with great rewards of deep friendship, passion and closeness to God, healing, and salvation.

Being visible, comes with knowing that all we've been through is for a purpose,  for comforting others in their time of need (2 Cor 1:4).

God made himself vulnerable too.  He made us knowing full well we would blow it and reject Him.  Yet he made us anyway.  We did reject Him and hurt him to the point that he wished He had never made us: The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. Genesis 6:6) That is a deep, deep wound to the heart of God. Yet he continued to pour into us...to pour out of him: blood.

He became visible for us when He sent Jesus to the Earth He created. He became vulnerable to our sin, sending His precious Son to the cross; His blood drips down.

God's sling--His visible hurt--is Jesus on the Cross.

Jesus reminds us that we all have a common hurt, the one that sent Him to the cross: sin. Jesus came to be it's remedy; the Healer.

We can relate to Him, because he took on human form and He overcame. He shares His story with us, and we no longer feel alone. We know He has been through similar struggles in his life here on Earth, and He has overcome it all (Hebrews 4:15).

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know;
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Lyrics by Robert Lowry

 

Visable cross

 

 

 

Mirror : rorriM

"Sketch, put your hands up like me!"

He raises his hands with a puzzled expression on his face.

I move my hands slowly.  He follows.  "Good, Robbie!  Do what I do! Follow me!"

He follows. I make a quick movement up to surprise him. He giggles.

"All done? No!" and he runs off.

But, he did it with me for a few minutes and I know he CAN do it.  I had a few minutes of uninterrupted engagement.  No small victory there!

This is one of the  hand games that I've been playing with Sketch.  It is similar to Patty Cake, but I call it Mirroring.

I have been playing hand games like this and Patty Cake with Sketch the past few weeks.

Games like this are great because he has to pay attention to what I'm doing;  mirror me, follow me, keep pace with me, anticipate my next move.  I put my hands up, and Sketch puts up his in the same way. I move my hand (or hands) and he is to follow as closely as he can to what I do so he is my mirror image.  It is really quite fun and there are all kinds of opportunity to throw wrenches into the game, like shooting your hand up high without notice.

Sketch likes playing it for a short time.  He thought it was funny when I'd do something unexpected and he'd have to adjust to it. He wasn't perfect at it by a long stretch, but he tried. And in order to try, he has to remain engaged and focused.

I love it when he's engaged and focused.  He has so much to offer: Big smiles, joyful eyes, excitement uncontainable. And, he is really, really, bright.  He does not show this to most people, but that boy is really smart.

To play these "mirroring" games, we have to be co-regulated.  Co-regulation reminds me of the Chris Tomlin song, "Where you go I go, When you move I'll move, In this live I loose, I will follow you"  That is co-regulation in a nutshell.  It is changing your pace to meet someone else's pace (and visa-versa).

If you are walking with someone and you are far ahead or far behind them, you have to adjust your pace to match your partners in order to being walking WITH them.  Most of us do that easily, and when we are talking and don't get a response we'd pause and let the other person catch up.  With ASD kids, they may not notice.  They need to practice this skill to develop it.

I could use some work in that department as well.  I don't know about you, but I find it pretty easy to not go when God says it's time to go, especially if I'm not expecting a move.  It's that old fear-of-the-unknown creeping up again.  It's quite silly of me, because God promises me that he will do more than I can ever ask or imagine!  There is nothing to be afraid of in that.

At the same time, I find it far too easy to move on before He says it's time to move on.  Knowing, and being excited for what IS coming up, but having to wait for God to give the green light, can be very difficult as well!

If only we could mirror Jesus as easily as playing a game of patty-cake.  I guess the trick is to keep going back and looking in the mirror (the Word of God) to get direction, and to follow it.

James 1:23-24 "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

The other good thing about the mirror analogy, is that one day, we will look in the mirror, and we will not see just an imperfect reflection as we do now, but we will see Him.  Not in a mirror, but face to face.  I can't wait for that day--the day of 100% engagement with Jesus.

1 Cor 12:13 "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

How about you? Are you engaged with God? Do you find it easy or hard to be co-regulated or mirror Jesus?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.