22 January 2014


I came across a pin today on Pinterest that advertised itself as "the most joy you'll ever see!" and had an array of pictures of babies and animals and toddlers, all with huge smiles and experiencing a whole lotta joy. As I looked through the pics, all I could think of was the most joy I've ever seen, and that was on the face and spread through to the whole demeanor of an autistic child on a horse. When in Russia this summer, I spent a week living in close proximity to and working with a camp of autistic children and their mothers. Let me tell you, these kiddos had personality. Each one had his or her own unique reaction to every single event, be it a major change in schedule or a minor oversight in passing out craft materials. There is no general "autistic children behave _________". One little fella was having none of anything we did. He was completely disengaged, not making eye contact with anyone, not acknowledging anyone, just doing his own thing on his own time. Three days of working with these kids and not once did I see this boy moved one way or the other by any single thing. On the fourth day, the camp provided a therapy horse for the children. I had the unbelievable experience of watching this boy, who previously was the definition of disinterest, light up like nothing else, giddily peal with laughter, and hug that horse as tight as he could. I have never in my life seen joy on such a scale.

I don't talk about it a lot, but I think about my experiences in Russia daily. I think about my mischievous boys. I think about my sweet girls. I send them all of my love. I pray for God's provision. I pray for His mercy. I think about memories like this one. I think about the mother of this boy who got to see her son so happy, and I try to comprehend how much it must have meant to her, knowing how much it meant to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment