Day #89 – The Trouble With Church

Church can be difficult for us. As Tucker has grown, matured, and developed coping strategies it is slowly, but steadily getting better.  If you’ve been reading this blog you know how important faith and worship is to us.  Check out Day #82 – Human Labels, Day #75 – Go and Do Likewise, Day #68 – Faith, Day #33 – Why Me, and Day #30 Social Cues.

Our place of worship can be the most uplifting place while simultaneously presenting a host of troubles for Tucker.  Today was the annual Christmas program and I couldn’t help but to think of all the struggles we’ve had through the years during these ‘special’ events.

Christmas Programs…
Full of chaos
Full of music
Full of new friends
Full of itchy costumes
Full of schedule changes

Vacation Bible School…
Full of chaos
Full of music
Full of new friends
Full of different food
Full of schedule changes

Too hot
Too cold
Loud music
Too much noise
Too many people
Too many people who don’t understand

I recently read an article about a church offering ‘special needs’ services.  My first thought was, “How cool is that?”  My second thought was more on-point.  Why?  Why must we separate? I’m also not an advocate for removing children from worship services.  I know that many parents make this choice – and that is their choice and I respect that.  I remember saying to a former Pastor, “I’m sure your sermon was great – but I have no idea what you said I was too busy trying to corral Tucker.”

He responded, “Good. Soon enough your children will be old enough that you can pay attention.  For now, just sit with them in this house – that is enough.”

Matthew 25:40:  “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.”

The least of these – whatever we do to the ‘least’ of our population is what we do to Jesus. It reminded me of this new song by Matt Maher…

You are not alone if you are lonely
When you feel afraid, you’re not the only
We are all the same in need of mercy
To be forgiven and be free
It’s all you got to lean on
But thank God it’s all you need

If you’re rich or poor, well it don’t matter
Weak or strong, you know love is what we’re after
We’re all broken but we’re all in this together
God knows we stumble and fall
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all

Blessed are the poor in spirit who are torn apart
Blessed are the persecuted and the pure in heart
Blessed are the people hungry for another start
For this is the Kingdom
The Kingdom of God

God created hurricanes, typhoons, volcanoes, and tornadoes.  I’m pretty sure children are less catastrophic and chaotic than these natural phenomena.  In fact, I used to use this example in reference to Tucker.  God created tornados…God created Tucker.  Sometimes, it feels like one in the same.

So, at the Christmas program when you see a child fidgeting – know they cannot get grounded, if they touching others – know they are trying to get grounded, if they are itching and generally making a nuisance out of themselves – know they are trying to sort out the overwhelming nature of what they are sensing…just remember, that child is STILL a child of God deserving of mercy.  The least of these…

So, at VBS when you have a child who hides under tables – know they may be trying to find a safe spot, when a child runs from place to place – know they are looking for stability, when they are touching others or having a full-on meltdown – know they are simply overwhelmed…just remember, that child is STILL a child of God deserving of mercy.  The least of these…

So, at worship when a child leaves the sanctuary several times – know they may be taking a break, if they are leaning on a parent – know they may be trying to ground themselves, if they are talking out loud – know they may not even realize they are doing so, if they pull their hood over their head – know they are trying to limit the amount of input their brain is receiving…just remember, that child is STILL a child of God deserving of mercy.  The least of these…

The promise the rainbow gave us is the promise we feel when we include ALL people in worship and special events/activities. All people – to give hope that there will be an end to the tornado, there is hope in today, tomorrow, and the future.

And all the people said Amen
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen

2 thoughts on “Day #89 – The Trouble With Church

  1. Pingback: Day #96 – Proactive or Reactive | 366 Days of Autism

  2. Pingback: Day #327 – Indexing | 366 Days of Autism

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