Filtering my thoughts and words isn’t easy and it doesn’t always turn out pretty. They often come pouring from my mind through my mouth like a coffee maker without a filter. (Sipping on coffee grounds is simply unpleasant!) I’ve improved over time and I always work to reflect the Lord, but I have certainly not arrived. I can act refined with proper statements and politeness, but underlying what comes out is what’s really in my heart and head—and it’s often conflicting. Ouch.
But here’s the flip side for those of us calling ourselves (or thinking of ourselves as) “normal” or “typical”: I think we’re often very wrong.
As I’ve observed my son Joey’s (special needs/age 35) response to people and situations, his filtering processing is amazing. Unlike me, his filter seems to keep in what one should and let pass through only what is good. He doesn’t seem to see and view things like we do. Few things really bother or agitate him. He greets everyone like they’re his hero. I’ve never heard him comment on a person’s color, weight, attitude, issues, or sin. He seems to filter all that out; just seeing their heart.
He filters out the unnecessary:
When it comes to himself, he doesn’t go to his closet and say how he hates all his clothes and wants new things. He seldom asks for much and when he does it’s usually the newest action figure at $3.99! He seems to filter out all the unnecessary things.
He can wait for hours:
He doesn’t tend to get mad when he has to wait. He just waits. Time doesn’t seem to be an issue. He seems to let the time filter do its job as he just waits it out!
He rejoices and grieves with others:
He’s happy for people who succeed and sad when people have loss—it’s genuine. His filter allows him to see all the good and love through the bad. He prays for people—usually right in the middle of “life” not waiting for a quiet private moment when no one will see. He says what comes into his young heart and the kicker is this…it’s kind, sweet, without malice, and generally pretty much the way God tells us in His word how to act and live.
He’s amazing to me.
Truly what’s in his heart and head is what comes out. It’s tender, kind, and simply amazing. I know he’s not perfect, but he and many of the people in our life with special needs are certainly as close to it as we’ll see this side of eternity. They seem to have a slice of heaven that most of us can’t even imagine and certainly can’t conjure up.
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” (Matthew 19:14)
I like this filter; and while I’m thankful Joey grasps it better than I do, I wish I could filter my thoughts, words, and life like he does!