Broken and Whole
I am 41 years old. He is 25 years old. We got to know each other a few weeks ago and we visit every Tuesday.
Our lives are so radically different from each other.
I left work today after a series of meetings, picked up a few things at the grocery store and drove to my own home in the country. We ate our dinner, did a few chores, and I read the newspaper. As I type this on my laptop my son is asleep in his room, and my wife is nearby reading her Bible.
He was driven to his part time retail job by his caregiver. Three hours later he was driven back to his tiny apartment where he will spend his evening in front of the television watching mostly cartoons.
Our worlds are so different. One of us is broken. The other is whole.
He is mentally challenged and lives in the world of autism. He relies on the help of family and caregivers to make it through life. I've always been so prideful that I felt I didn't need anyone's help to make it. I could do it on my own.
I had certain goals and dreams for life when I graduated college. I mapped out my whole life and set up specific timetables for when I would achieve certain goals. I read everything I could get my hands on, worked relentless hours in the corporate world, and poured myself into everything I did.
His disability precluded him from college, or being able to read much at all. His job is menial and his hours few.
I was driven by myself to succeed.
He is driven everywhere by someone else.
I constantly compared myself to others and measured my life by the comparison. If you didn't act like me, think like me, look like me, or even vote like me....I had little regard for you.
He doesn't compare himself to anyone and has no regard for how you think. His world makes no distinctions. He is no respecter of people. He got that part from His Creator.
I was content in nothing and always looking for the next big thing. He is content in everything and not looking for anything.
His mental limitations and autism alter his perception of reality and limit how much he can grasp of the world around him. He doesn't see things like you and I do. He doesn't understand things like you and I.
That's why the simple things delight him. That's why he's happy despite his situation. That's why he counts it all joy. That's why he smiles and laughs all the time despite his disabilities.
We've been studying the Bible together for a few week in our own way that we developed.
He may not know much about most things in life. But he knows God and Jesus.
Ask him why Jesus came to earth and he will reply, "to die on cross so I can go to heaven." Ask him who God is and he will say, "he made me and Jesus is His Son."
His mind may be disabled, but his soul isn't.
Two lives so completely different from each other. One person broken, the other whole.
And I'm the broken one.