Today I was enraged.…I don’t often feel angry, furious, cross, mad, outraged, annoyed, irritated, infuriated, incensed, indignant, irate, incandescent, irascible, piqued or hot under the collar. I’m usually so calm….
But today I was talking to a fellow professional who told me about a family she worked with who had been asked to leave their church because of the disrupting behaviour of their autistic son….
My first response was to think…surely not? I asked questions, I needed to clarify, to check this second-hand information was really what had happened…and yes, the person had supported the family through that time, she was adamant. They were devastated.
So am I.
I am a person who always tries to see every side of the situation or issue. I am the lone voice sometimes offering a perspective on the actions of others, sticking up for both sides to find common ground, offering advice to restore relationships.
I TRIED to reason what might have made a church do this to a family with a child with special needs.
But for once I failed.
I am devastated for this family who had to leave their community and network of friends and fellow believers. They were cast out, leaving them wounded and confused.
Why would a church do this?
In my kindest moment I imagine they might have felt overwhelmed, not knowing how to meet this family’s needs. I imagine they might have exchanged cross words and fallen out?
I feel hurt, upset, enraged because as much as I love Jesus, as his church we sometimes don’t really reflect his grace to each other. If I thought this really was an isolated event then perhaps I could explain it away and carry on just looking for the good churches who are trying to include and support those with additional needs. I am glad they are there…but I am worried there are other families and individuals with additional needs out there who have been thrown out, ostracised or made to feel that they don’t belong in church. Made to feel unwelcome because they don’t conform, sit quietly and have needs that challenge us all to change. How can we be brothers and sisters in Christ, God’s family, when this happens?
Over to you:
I am scared of asking….but do you know of these things happening too?
P.S. I am glad to report that the family have found a new and welcoming church. I pray for their hurts to be healed and for them to be restored.