Yesterday, I spontaneously decided to go to our region’s annual Autism Awareness walk. I’ve really been thinking and praying a lot lately, and I know that I am dealing with all these special needs for a reason. I am looking to see how God wants me to use my experiences to help others. I wanted to see what this community looked like, to see what the needs were, and I was just overwhelmed.
The need is so great and on so many levels. As I walked around, I could see families everywhere, supporting their handicapped loved ones, out early on a freezing cold Sunday morning because they want to see them get better, to do something to stop a growing epidemic that no one truly understands. There is great love and great hope, and I commend these families for doing the best they can with the information they have to make life better for those who are on the spectrum.
And yet I was incredibly frustrated. Here is where we wade into the emotional and controversial and so for now I will keep things vague, but I was saddened to see people who, I felt, were misguided. There are so many programs out there, and desperate parents are running from thing to thing, searching for an answer, and yet there are many therapies that I feel don’t help, or worse yet, propagate problems. The place was filled with junk food, vendors handing out candy to children while politicians made promises they couldn’t possibly keep to people who are ready to grab at anything that appears as help. Two things that can cause terrible damage. The lack of education was saddening.
The need is so great, so overwhelming, and I could feel my heart breaking over it. This isn’t the ministry I would have chosen, and yet I feel as though I have been chosen for it. It’s the work of a lifetime, and it begins with my own family, and yet I know it is never, ever meant to stay confined there.
I am watching, learning, thinking, planning, and praying, always praying. There is work to be done here, and it will need the hand of God.