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Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

The Sheep with Autism

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The pageant is today and I have the sheep with autism.

I woke up worrying, worrying and praying that five year old Amos would participate and not make a big scene.

Please, don’t tell me that it’s fine and no one minds if he’s destructive or has a big fit because the phone doesn’t play railway vehicles.

You see, I mind.

I long for him to be included, but not because it’s the right thing to do.

Inclusion is such a tricky thing because it’s not just the being a part of things, it’s the being part of things when you don’t behave or sing or follow along.

Inclusion is disruptive and annoying and a pain in the ass sometimes, but still, it matters.

I lay in bed and prayed for Amos to join in, much like everyone else, and then, I remembered.

Or maybe, I was reminded.

Jesus, preaching to a crowded house and a person, desperate enough to be included, that he was lowered through a hole made in the roof.

I don’t know any more details, but I know that he was welcomed.

A rule breaker.

I can’t imagine there is anything much more disruptive or destructive, than making a hole in one’s roof and lowering a needy person down, yet he was received in genuine love.

Inclusion is not so much about expectations, than it is love.

I’m still learning, too, the mama of an errant sheep.

Today, he may sling a disobedient phone or joyfully clap for the choir, but I will swallow my fear and remember the one who dropped from the roof.

And welcomed like an old friend.

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