Sunday, 14 January 2018
This week, I've been blessed with so many things.
The love of family, wonderfully autistic.
The caring of autistic friends and colleagues.
The caring of non-autistic friends and colleagues.
The chance to collaborate together on plans for a wonderful event for disabled and neurodiverse people. About our Christian faith, and what we bring each day to it. In prayer, in love, in compassion, in friendship, in skills and work. About what it is to be representing Jesus, embodying that-of-God-which-is-like-us. What people learn of God's nature by walking alongside us, listening to a wisdom arising from the journey.
In quiet moments of reflecting, sat with autistic and disabled friends as they tell their stories of life. Of sharing hope, and pain. Of encountering such depth of feeling and yearning for a life made easier.
In heartwarming moments, looking at autistic art, poetry, scuplture, essays, research. Of all kinds, from all manner of people. Each shining a light into the human soul.
In preparing a simple worship session for a church group, as I often do, working with materials from our Bishop and reflecting on God's message for us.
In patiently caring for those in my family who rely on me to guide and support them, as they do for me too.
In sheltering those who return from 'the front line' of autism work, bruised in spirit, not sure if they can go on. And receiving that same shelter during exhausted times of my own.
I'm one of so many autistic people who yearn for a world of caring and love, where autistic people can thrive alongside our non-autistic friends.
That's my motive.
Is it political? Perhaps. But no more than any other love could be.
Will you join people like me, as we walk towards that goal together?
The photograph shows a wooden shed door, faded and worn. On it hangs a heart shape made of rough twigs, and within that heart shape, another pale smooth pottery heart hangs. Why did I choose that image? Because it speaks to me of the unexpected places to find love, in all its forms...if only we look.