Uh oh, there he goes again…
My oldest son has no social boundaries. He pretty much says what he’s thinking. We coach him, we practice with him, and think we’re doing a decent job. But then, out of his mouth pops something, and we just want to hide and pretend he doesn’t belong with us.
I usually blame this on the fact that he has Asperger’s and think of it as something that we need to “work on”. And yes it is because of that, and yes we do need to work on it. But, I’m also learning that this is a special part of who he is and maybe I don’t want him to stop altogether.
When he walked right up to the legless man in a wheelchair and asked what happened to his legs, my husband apologized to the man. But the man waved off the apology and said, “It’s nice actually. Most people just act as if they don’t see me.”
Ever since the legless man said that, I started watching my son. He says “Hi” to everyone he sees that’s in a wheelchair, that is dressed in dirty, tattered clothes, that has Down’s or some type of disability, and to the elderly. He sees them and greets them. It’s not usually just a quick hi as he passes by. He stops to talk to them. Usually it begins with, “What’s wrong with … ” and may not be politically correct or tactful but it’s real and genuine and compassionate.
My son sees the people who the rest of us turn our eyes away from. He sees the invisible people we ignore. And I see Jesus in my son. Because Jesus sees them too. The gospels are filled with stories of Jesus seeing the lowly and pausing to talk to them, to touch them, to heal them.
So, the Asperger’s may contribute to the fact that my son doesn’t have much tact when he’s talking to people, but it is Jesus that is moving in my son to see people – all people, to reach out to them, to have compassion on them, and to love them.
Now, I just need to figure out how to not dissuade him from talking to people, but to coach him on how to do it without offending. Which, is what usually keeps me from talking to people in the first place. So maybe, I just need to let Jesus be his coach and I should just watch and learn …
Pressing on Together,