My 9 year old son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and an anxiety disorder. Apparently it’s a common trifecta. All I know is that it is really hard for him.
He takes everything you say to heart, and even extrapolates the meaning. If you pick up a LEGO creation he just made and toss it back in the bin, tell him to shut up, or you don’t listen with 200% attention, you must hate him.
Do I think I hate him? No. But that is how he FEELS, and that is more important.
I had a dream last night. My family was at a local church and we were having fun while hanging out with friends. There were many people, Christian Ed. classes going on. And even a community outreach class to minorities. It was a busy and crowded place, but everyone was having a great time. By all accounts it was a wonderful place to be.
As I was trying to get my 4 year old to cooperate, so we could go home for the evening, he ran into the bathroom. I chased aftrr him, and that’s when reality hit. In every stall a baby or toddler was restained, tied up so tightly with so many things I knew I had to go back to the door and scream for help. While people could hear me, and they even looked towards me, no one came to help. I stood at the door, screaming to no avail.
As soon as I woke up I immediately knew the meaning. We do good things, we are happy, our buildings are full. We even reach out to those around us in the name of love. But we are ignoring the most important thing, locked away and forgotten. The innocent victims.
When we talk negatively of our enemies, we forget about the innocent.
When we talk in generalities, we forget about the innocent.
When we blame entire people groups, we forget about the innocent.
When we press, and press in every avenue of communication, we forget about the innocent.
Like my son, they are hurt by your words.
Like my son, they only feel anger and hate.
Like my son the damage is impossible to calculate.
Even when our intentions are good, our anger justified, and our sorrow real, we forget about the innocent.
Who are the innocent? Your neighbors. The kids in your child’s school. Your coworkers. And anyone who ever has to take the brunt of your viprous tongue.
Instead of planting seeds of love, mercy and grace, you are planting seeds of hate.
Remember when you were 10, and saying nasty things about your sibling?
What did your mom say? Oh yeah, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
And how about this gem, “Say 5 nice things for every negative thing you have said.”
Somehow we expect our children to do these things, but yet in adulthood, in The Church, on social media and in living rooms and break rooms across our world we have forgotten this simple message.
I think it’s time to bring it back. And fast.
If history has told us anything, hatred breeds hatred. It’s a weed. And the only way it can be stopped is if we all work together.