I have a theory. It's one theory among many. I'm not anyone special, just someone with a theory. Like everyone else. Are you ready for it? Here it is:
It's about interconnectivity and Autism. My firm belief is that we have a Creator. That He loves us and is intimately acquainted with us. That He breathed His very life into our bodies. That He loved us so much He sent a way for us to be connected to Himself, always.
We have a daughter who is not unlike other Autistic people in one way-seemingly more connected to God's design...joyful in nature, naturally contemplative and meditative, connected to weather patterns, able to read people to their very souls/intents, inquisitive, creative. So many things about Autism are different from person to person (as we all have our unique abilities and quirks), but time and time again I read of parents sensing their child has a connection to the Other. Something so clear to us, and yet so far away.
And why not? If the God of the Universe breathed His very own life into us, aren't we all connected and in tune with His healing, His wisdom, His great love?
I can see that as time goes on, the world falls further and further from it's design and grand intelligence. How did they build pyramids? How did those faces get to Easter Island? Stonehenge? How does every culture on earth have it's own account of Noah, the flood and the ark? We fall further from God and we fail to see so clearly the connections we have to Him, our present home(earth) and each other. (I will say I believe this is by human choice, not design. But that's not what this post is about)
So the theory goes, what if Autism isn't something to be feared or dreaded, (I do not believe it is, but our society seems to) but instead is closer to the way we were created to be? In other cultures, classic Autists-or savants-are sometimes held up as a connection to the unseen realm. Autism, as I've seen it, is a great paradox. Which is exactly what God is...intense and yet gentle. Just and yet forgiving.
What if the supposed rise in Autism rates are really just a falling of the rest of the world...a greater divide between what we were made to be an where we are, so to speak? What if they feel so alone because they see the great divide between us all and what if they are lonely because they are more fully connected to the great Love that is God and they want to bring all those they love with them?
What if Autism is God's way of bringing more people to himself? How many people do our little ones touch? What if their purpose here is to transform those lives they touch? I know my little Autist has transformed the lives of everyone in our house, quite without trying. I know she infects everyone she comes into contact with-infects them with visions of joy and beauty and laughter and yet also with a deep sense of the injustices around us.
What if it's not us who should be teaching them how to fit into the world, but they who should be teaching us how to fit with God? What if they know more about what *really* matters in life than we could ever dream until we drop the walls and experience Love without fear?