the powerless against the mighty

I watched 60 Minutes on CBS a few days ago. The story centered around the breakthrough use of the iPad for people with autism - the opportunity it gives them to use their fingers to swipe and point. And that it speaks aloud the pictures that the child touches. So these kids (and adults) who have never been able to talk or communicate can now order a soda at a diner and tell their moms if they're happy or sad. Tired or hungry. It's a small thing. But it's a door whose lock has been turned and that is slowly beginning to open. And to know as parents that you have Apple on your side constantly innovating a device that's profoundly and positively impacting your autistic child's life? Well, it's got to feel good to have that sort hope and support. 

I'm selfish. And I'm wondering when that door is going to open for my brother. I imagine that just about anyone would watch a segment like this one on autism and iPads and be moved, feel compassion and have joy for the parents and children who are being so greatly helped by this technology. But for anyone that's touched on a daily basis by a child with special needs, it strikes a tender chord. I think you are more deeply joyful for those people seeing hope, because you long for it so much yourself.

I have to be honest. I constantly look at other types of 'special needs' and conclude that they are in every way better and easier than those of my brothers. I have a whole slew of reasons as to why I believe it. Either there are more resources for that diagnosis. Ryan's symposium for XXYY has 15 attendees this year - from as far as Germany, only 15 boys. Or there are more people interested and passionate about research. There is only 1, read it: 1, doctor in the United States (and world?) that specializes in XXYY. And oh yeah, she's on maternity leave. Or maybe it's that at least the child doesn't know that they have special needs and so they get to live in blissful ignorance. Ryan knows he doesn't have friends. Or maybe they know full well but have the capability and desire to be independent. You need to stand over Ryan to make sure he brushes his teeth. They know their limitations. But they work with them. I don't even know his limitations sometimes. They get to live in group homes. His genetic disorder is so rare that group homes don't know how to handle him. Other types of special needs adults hold down menial jobs. You don't even want to know what happened the one time he got a job at the YMCA. It involved a trainer's cellphone, a toilet and a surveillance camera. You fill in the blanks. Needless to say he was quickly unemployed.

It's not fair to do this though. It's not fair to compare the struggles and the plights of various special needs families. They're all broken. They all need a miracle. The problems that afflict Ryan's life just look different. But, I have to be careful not to scream sometimes. Not to scream so loud I wake the baby. But that's how I feel. Where's Ryan's iPad? Forget about opening the door that would lead to a better life for him. Let's just please find the door. But I think I'm wrong to believe that autistic families are the only lucky ones because they now have have the iPad and its promising future on their side. Because we all have God on our side.

Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you and in your name we have come against this vast army. O Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against You. 2 Chronicles 14:11

Ryan is the powerless. I am the powerless. My family is the powerless. Mighty is what afflicts Ryan. Mighty is the world. Mighty is hopelessness. Mighty is depression and desperation. There is no one like God to help the powerless against the mighty. Let me believe that, God. And help my unbelief. I see no future for Ryan. I see the day by day. But I want to see the future. I keep looking for his iPad. His fancy pill. His perfect doctor. His new best friend. What is in the works for Ryan?

No eye has seen, 
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor. 2:9 AND Isaiah 64:4

It says that twice in the Bible. Thank goodness that the only options aren't those that I can conceive of! That's the best news I've heard all weekend. 

So I wish to focus on that tonight. And every night. That no eye has seen the books that God has written that only Ryan with his wandering eye will ever read. And no ear has heard the language that God has created that will be a beautiful harmony to his ears. No mind has conceived of the community that he will one day find in Christ. God is the host of that party and He has prepared the goods. And they are good

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