When the last will be first

The latest numbers from the CDC show us that 1 out of every 68 people have autism.

William's apple
This is William, my 1 in 68. Apples are his fave.

That means, statistically, if 1 in 68 people have it, then 3.6 million of Walmart’s 345 million weekly shoppers are autistic.

It means if you’re in a restaurant on a Saturday night, you’d likely find someone in the room who has it.

And in church on Sunday, it’s probable that you’re sharing a room and an experience with at least one person who has autism.

In fact, it is unlikely that nobody in the room has it.

Those are difficult facts, and, in my experience, I’ve noticed that the way people of faith attempt to deal with those facts fall into one of two camps.

Most people have been taught that God knows best, and a pious Christian doesn’t question. They’ve been taught that suffering shouldn’t hurt so badly, or for any length of time, if you have the joy of the Lord. Most people have been made to feel like they’re not allowed to ask questions, or just let heartbreak be heartbreak, lest they be told there’s something wrong with their faith.

I am not most people.

I’m the other sort. I am a fiercely devoted Christian, but sometimes I have questions, and I ask them. Sometimes, I’m mortified because he’s run headlong into our priest again (I tell myself he’s zealous in his faith). Sometimes, I get a moment to myself and I cry my face off because I have no idea if all this work is even making a dent.

So if you’re looking for inspiration for home décor, it isn’t here. I’m sitting on my husband’s futon from grad school and resting my mug on a coffee table that’s decorated with a stack of Nancy Drew books and a dirty diaper.

Here’s what I do know, and here’s what I can offer you.

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:37-40 NIV

God Himself gives our children the dignity of solidarity when they are forgotten or skipped over because they’re too difficult. He wants them to be an active part of the church, too.

Sometimes we need reminding of that. Sometimes we need something to celebrate. Sometimes we need a good, head-rattling laugh or someone to enter into our pain with us and stand with us there.

I got your back.

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. Timothy Kyril says:

    No answers. Just hugs and prayer.

    Like

    1. mauraoprisko says:

      Thank you, Tim! Glad to see you here.

      Like

  2. kayreusser says:

    This is really a beautiful post. I know your aim is just to relate, but your style is tremendous. I hope the blogging helps you as it has helped me as a middle school lib’n/ church member.

    Like

    1. mauraoprisko says:

      Thanks, Kay! I appreciate it!

      Like

  3. Kim Elliott says:

    Awesome! I’m Popadija Kim and the one that started the Orthodoxy and the Autism Spectrum Facebook Page. My son Christopher has aspergers, and we have recently been blessed with an influx of children on the spectrum. It’s been interesting, since it happened all at once. We have a very small parish in Northern California. Congrats on your blog, and will definitely be checking in on it!

    Like

    1. mauraoprisko says:

      Hi, Popadija! Thank you so, so much for stopping by and for the great work you are doing with your church and special children. Love, hugs, and prayers for you!

      Like

  4. Leah says:

    Hello! I’m a niece to Mike and Tina Wilson from your church and was forwarded your blog through them. I too have a Will who just turned 5 and was just diagnosed with ASD. Your blog is frankly, great! You touch on highs and lows with our special children. I can relate to the church outings, crying, etc. It’s good-no, it’s fabulous to know there are others out there that can relate. I would love to talk to you more about our kiddos:) if it would be ok can I email you sometime? Tina has already given me your address:)
    From one special needs family to the next, YOU’RE doing a great job!

    Like

    1. mauraoprisko says:

      Hi, Leah! Yes, thank you so much for your comment and for reaching out to me. I was thrilled that Tina forwarded my info to you, so absolutely email sometime and we’ll chat. I’d love it!

      Like

  5. elizzyj says:

    Hello! Christ is Risen!
    I figured you may wish to know who the totally random 29th person now following your blog is, so I thought I’d briefly explain . . . My name is Elizabeth, I am a young adult (no kids or spouse to speak of) and am cradle Orthodox. I stumbled upon your blog, read a bunch, enjoyed it, and want to read more. This look into autism is new for me, and I appreciate it. While I don’t interact much (to my knowledge) with many people on the spectrum, it feels good to open my eyes a little. I enjoy your quotes from saints and the simple life lessons that really are what’s needed sometimes at any age . . .

    May your Bright Week be a lovely one!

    In Christ,
    Elizabeth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mauraoprisko says:

      Oh, I’m so sorry for my late response, Elizabeth. I was glad to see your comment, and truly appreciated your kind words about the blog. 🙂 I’m really glad to hear you’re interested in learning about autism–the world desperately needs more people like this! God bless you, and your Bright Week as well. 🙂

      Like

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