Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jesus and Gravity

I am coming out of the closet...I am a reality TV show fan. There are only a few shows that I watch, but I am madly in love with them. I know that things are dramatized on these shows, but I feel like they are more like real life sometimes than the average person's real life. If you think about it, we all have drama in our lives. About 4 years ago I was in the neurological ICU and told that I had three of which had already burst. I was in disbelief. The next thing I knew there was the hospital chaplain in my room. I looked at Alex and said something to the effect of "oh, *%^# (how do you do the cuss word sign?). call church." Ok, so that last sentence was dramatization, but that is really what I thought. After our friends ran (literally dramatization...we have the best friends ever) to my hospital bed, we were told, "ummm either we were wrong or you are miraculously healed." We never did find out what happened. I can tell you this much though, I felt like I was dieing and Alex thought for sure I looked like I was dieing. But let me give you an example of the beauty of the reality show that I saw tonight.

One of "my shows" is American Idol. There is always at least one contestant that I fall in love with and this year my main squeeze is Brooke White. She is a Christian. I would have known she was one whether she said it or not, but I think she has said it at some point. That is not the only reason I love her...she seems like she would be the most awesome sweetest friend, and I love her voice and her performances. This week the contestants sang Dolly Parton songs and tonight was the results show. Dolly Parton sang a song before the final results called "Jesus and Gravity" (I think). The premise was basically that she has all she needs because when she takes her blessings for granted gravity brings her back down. But at the same time Jesus is always there to lift her up and show her she is loved and that all good gifts are from Him. At least that is what I got out of it. As I was marvelling over the fact that this blatantly Christian song was being sung on American Idol, I found out that my girl Brooke was in the bottom 3. Gasp. This has never happened. Break to a commercial. I never actually call and vote...I was kicking myself for not voting. This was a tragedy. The show comes back and the bottom 3 girls are standing there in tears awaiting their fate. Ryan Seacrest looks at Brooke and says, "Brooke, you have never been in the bottom 3 before and you are obviously very emotional about it." Brooke replies, "I am emotional for many reasons. We throw everything into this competition. And then I see the segment on "Idol gives Back" (a charity thing Idol does now) about starving kids in Africa and I think there are so many things in life bigger than this. And then Dolly Parton gets on the stage and sings about Jesus and I remember He is all I ever need." You'll be happy to know Brooke was not eliminated.

I guess my point is this...reality TV is real life because Jesus is there just as much as He is everywhere else. And we are all fooling ourselves if we think that life is just la de da for the average person anyway. For the Christian, we are at war with Satan. He is attacking our children, our marriages, our friends, our family...but more importantly he is trying to keep people from hearing about Jesus. The reality is that life is dramatic...and people need Jesus. Even Simon Cowell and reality show addicts such as myself :).

P.S. BTW, I encourage everyone to read the words to that Dolly Parton song. I would have written a post about it even if I hadn't heard it on American Idol. It is brilliant...I love the idea that the gravity of this world is needed to remind us we are sinners, but even more Jesus is needed to love us anyway when gravity shows us the reality of who we are. It makes me proud to say that I have been to DollyWood. ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

National Autism Day?????

April 2nd is national Autism Day....I think. I was informed of this tonight by my husband as he was getting off of a plane in San Diego. I had no idea. We only had a few seconds to chat (due to children that needed to sleep immediately and real world business that needed to be attended to). But I can only assume that he struck up a conversation on the plane with another passenger whose life has been affected by autism. (By the way, did I mention that my husband is in San Diego because he is a commercial real estate stud...even in this wretched economy we've entered into? No, I didn't? Oh, yeah, that is because I suck at being a good wife....).

ANYWAY, I imagined the conversation that Alex had to gain this information. It could have taken any form...there are so many people who have been 'informed' or affected by autism lately. In a way it is the best of times and the worst of times to have a child inflicted with this disease. There is so much help and hope and yet at the same time there are people who think that because they saw Jenny McCarthy on Oprah they can diagnose your child. (There will be more to come on this in a future post....).

So then I pondered what national Autism day really means to me. There is a lot of uproar right now over the vaccine issue. I could give my personal views on that, but I won't, because I have no clue what I am talking about. So I imagine that a lot of parents are going to seize the day and try to highlight the fact that the powers that be are coming around to the vaccine theory. (Since this is my blog, I will say that it is just FASCINATING what has been happening lately in the news with the whole 'american pediatrics association is starting to realize that they don't know everything' story). And because early intervention is so crucial to recovery in Autism, there will be many who use this day as a way to get information out about the signs of autism. (And if you have been reading my blog, you know that this is also a worthy use of the day as my son is well on his way to being cured due to early intervention). But still, what does it mean for me? There is a whole national day devoted to something that has dominated my life for a while now. Granted, these national days are a dime a dozen, but what should I do?

I have decided to ask my friends to pray. Please pray for Daniel and his friends at school. Please pray for all of the children who are affected by this disease. Please, please, please pray for the marriages of the parents who have children with autism. The statistic on these marriages ending in divorce is ridiculous....even if I don't know the exact number, I can assure you it is way above the national average. Please pray for the siblings of these children...their whole lives are turned upside down and inside out by a disease they don't have. And if you have time (which I am sure you don't, but if you feel moved by my post you can do it anyway) read this wonderful post.

This post is written by a wonderful Christian woman who is a light in the dark world of autism. Many parents (especially moms) of children with autism read her blog and see Jesus. She has some great tips on how to minister to families with children with autism. And for my sweet friends in Houston, I am not putting this link on here for you to read and then feel like you need to do something for have all already done all she has written and more. You are a shining example of Christ's love physically given to just read it and be encouraged that Jesus is using you. And really, it is one of those things that you read and God uses it to speak to you whether you know someone with autism or not.

So, friends, it is national autism day. Go pray. It is the most powerful thing I can think of to do on such a day as this.