I brought my laptop with me tonight. I have two hours to sit
and wait while my son, Austin is in a class. This class is at the Ohio State
University and is for college-age students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
The parents sit in the waiting room while our kids are instructed on ways to
manage the emotional upheaval that comes with their condition. I’m not going to
pretend that it’s not hard. This isn’t a club I wanted to join. My son has
struggled just like these other young people. All of them want friends and
social lives but aren’t always easily approachable because of the social
dysfunction component of Autism. As a result, feelings of sadness, isolation,
rejection and loneliness become a frustrating fact of life. Hearing them
express their feelings physically hurts my heart. My chair happens to be
outside the door. I don’t want to listen yet I do want to listen…two
It’s interesting to observe how each parent copes with
sitting in the waiting room. One has on headphones tuning out the noise. I’d
pay him for those right now since another mom is chatting on her cell phone and
is so loud that the whole campus must hear her spine-tingling discourse on who
has the best fried shrimp in town, what she had to eat today, who is bugging
her at work, the last restaurant she went to was way too expensive and the
fried shrimp was just okay and on and on. I need anger management tips…wonder
where that class is! For the love of all
that is sacred, people need to learn cell phone manners or just plain good
old-fashioned manners, for that matter. But, is this her way of coping? For us,
there is some comfort in the mundane, since days are typically unpredictable,
so shame on me! Maybe my clicking away on a laptop is annoying! Not to mention,
fried shrimp sounds good all of a sudden…sigh!
Anyway, I notice other parents are reading books. Yes, I
said books with pages and everything! I think that says a lot. First, we’re all
older parents and have obviously been bypassed by the e-reading generation.
Secondly, we savor any free moment that doesn’t involve managing the schedules
and care of our kids which only we can understand. There are such highs and
lows…again, two contrasting realities.
As I survey the room, I conclude that all of us look weary
and tired. Oh, if I could read minds. All we want is a cure. A waiting room
filled with parents who love their kids and just want them better. There are
amazing gifts that come with Autism but the hurts often overshadow the endowments.
We rush to fix a hurt long before we applaud a talent-it’s just human nature
and definitely, Christian nature. Our hearts are touched with compassion before
our minds are stimulated by ability. It’s simply the character of God.
Tonight, my heart wants to be a first-responder in this
relief effort. I want to make everyone feel better but all I can do is sit here
and wait. I can pray but I still have to wait. I’m not just waiting for class
to be over… I’m waiting in a different way.
(Amplified) “But they that wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in
Him] shall change and renew their
strength and power; they shall lift
their wings and mount up [close to
God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they
shall walk and not faint or become tired.”
God is the forever first-responder and brings our much
needed relief but it’s our choice to look
at things or look for Him. I promise you this, if your hope is in Him… He
is always worth the wait.