Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

So it's another new year, and today I've got two things on my mind. Can you guess what they are?

Being real and loving one another.

The first thoughts came to life the other day while reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. She (Ehrenreich) goes undercover to see what it takes to land and keep a plush corporate job and in the process she learns that landing that big, beautiful dream job means she has to tell a boat load of lies about herself to get it. 

We wonder why people have very little intergrity today, but why do we wonder? Even beginning in childhood we are taught that if you want to get ahead, you have to be anything but yourself. Not even a better a version of yourself. Just someone else entirely.

Uh, nope. Not interested thank you. I want to be myself. What about you? Do you know who you are or what's inside of you, or have you fashioned yourself into the image someone else thinks you should be? Think about it.

As for loving one another, it's simple really. Jesus said if we loved Him we would keep His commandments. And He commands us to love each other.

Up until a few years ago, however, I loved no one at all. I was a Christian, but I just didn't care. Still, I had an intellectual understanding of the Bible and one day, 1st Corinthians 13 really began to bother me. The truth of it resonated deep within me. If I didn't love others, I was nothing before God.

The thought of this made my blood run cold.

In response, I cried out to the Lord to give me compassion for His people. He answered on the spot. I was only able to love just one other person then, but it was a start. And He's been building on that foundational prayer ever since.

The lesson here is this: A diagnosis of autism does not mean you cannot or (dare I say) even should not have a heart of compassion. Regardless of what's going on in my brain, if I understand what the Lord's word means, I can pray for everything I lack to be added to me. When we ask, we receive. I know I do.

Yesterday I had lunch with a new friend. He said, "When I first met you, I thought you were really, really nice. Seriously. Well, either that or you are on Xanax (I assured him I am not). I wasn't sure which (he has no problems with honesty), but you never know these days."

Jesus makes us look different to the world. Okay, so the world thinks we are on anti-anxeity medication in order to explain the difference, but I'll take it!

Anyone, regardless of who you are, or what you've been through or have even been diagnosed with, can be changed into the real you by the love and power of Jesus Christ. And in turn, when you are transformed, then you can go into the world and help others become transformed, too! That's how you love in the Name of Jesus.

May you all seek your healing this year and find it abundantly!

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