When my lonely middle-schooler with autism apologized to the girls in her class regarding some prior behavior, she was met with a cool silence. As a mom there to lend support to my daughter, that silence was one of the most emotionally painful moments I have every experienced. Katie’s words all but begged for understanding and hugs but no one budged from the circle on the gym floor. Only one sweet girl told Katie she understood and would always love her. God bless that girl!
Still—I was shocked and wounded at the global lack of support from my daughter’s PE teacher and her classmates at the Christian school. Katie had demonstrated courage to face the class with an apology but the response was cold indifference instead of grace and forgiveness. I don’t blame the girls. It was the teacher’s duty to lead her students in extending grace and care to a wounded soul. I am as sinful as anyone, so any fingers I point come right back at me. However, after the tears finally dried in my eyes, I wrote this poem to help me heal from that excruciating experience. I hope it might get passed on to someone who will be prompted to respond more compassionately in a similar situation.
IGNORING THE SHEPHERD'S CALL
The Shephard dove in to save his little lambs
From murky waters
He dove into disease, sin and outlandish behavior
He brought them out of the mud
The well, the sick, the stained, the hurting
And He washed them clean with his robe
The ones who were already saved
Are called to dive with the Shepherd
To restore the lost and rejected
But out of fear
They substitute love
With modest clothing, neat hair, and empty words
They stay where the water is clean
Where they can see the bottom
And the dirty lambs drown
The Shepherd cries for his black sheep
Still stuck in the mire
For He loves them
But the white fluffy sheep
Will not take His strength
To carry them out of the mud
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. I John 3:18.
Dr. Karen Crum brings hope and practical support to parents through her blog and award-winning book, Persevering Parent: Finding Strength to Raise Your Child with Social, Emotional or Behavioral Challenges. Join her blog and link to her book at www.PerseveringParent.com.