My time in Australia has nearly reached its close and so I have been reflecting on the season I’ve been in. Whilst I’ve been home, God had me back working as an Occupational Therapist. It is a profession that I highly value, but not one that I had taken into my core identity; it is not my consuming passion, or my greatest area of interest. It is “work” to complete the required continued professional development hours in my free time, rather than a delightful hobby. And yet God challenged me to own it as my ministry during this past season, rather than just a means (employment) to an end (finance for missions).
I’m pleased to be able to report that I did abandon myself to God’s prompting in this and thoroughly enjoyed my time in OT practice. I worked across several fields of practice, but had regular paediatric clients. It was these clients that stole my heart – and also the ones that prompted another bout of wrestling within my heart.
I’ve had questions lying heavily on me, yet I’ve been afraid to put them “out there”, because I’m not sure whether they are politically correct ones to ask. Nevertheless, I believe they are important so here are a couple of them:
God, what chance do these children have of coming to know you if they can’t even get outside of themselves? I would ask in hopelessness.
How can someone introduce these children to God’s love when they need such help even to learn of emotions? I would ask in dismay.
I spent a good few months asking many such questions.
I should add here that I’m a fixer. It’s in my personality type. But during this season I learnt very quickly that these children weren’t broken. It wasn’t pity that started to move me, but compassion. It was a joy and a privilege to be a small part of their world. God drew me to them and their families. God gave me a heart for them.
He also began to answer my questions with ones of His own:
Do you think I need you to reach them?
Do you think that they are not fearfully and wonderfully made?
Do you think that I made a mistake? Or that I love them less?
Is anyone beyond my power to save?
Is anyone outside of my reach?
God gave me just a small taste of His love for these children and their families.
Some of “my children” seemed trapped within themselves. Now, being an introvert, I can partially relate to this. There are times when there are things inside my mind that I would like to convey, but I can’t seem to make my mouth work; I just need space and time away from people so that I can recharge before I regain the desire to interact. At such times, I have experience amazing moments of intimacy with the Holy Spirit. I began to wonder: Could He not do the same for my children who struggle with social interaction and communication? I began to see that, whilst I might not be able to hold a conversation with them, that certainly doesn’t mean that God can’t.
Looking at it from this new perspective changed the way I considered their faith. I may not know where they stood with God, but I began to look at each client and wonder if they had a relationship with God of greater intimacy than I will ever obtain. This led me to reflect on perceptions, and to begin to change them.
A person might be able to see – but be blind to miracles.
A person might be able to chat easily with friends – but never become a friend of God.
A person might be brilliant at maths – but be counted a fool before the Lord.
A person might be able to run – but never experience the delight of running to a merciful Saviour.
A person may be able to understand emotions – but never experience the Comforter.
A person may be able to independently chew their food – but never pause to chew over the mysteries of God.
A person may be able to hear – yet be deaf the voice of God.
What a fool I was to look upon these children for even a moment of time through the eyes of the world that judges by scales of social standing, physical appearance and intellect. I pray that He will continue to reveal to me how they are perceived by His eyes, the eyes of their loving Creator.