Or is it a blessing in disguise? Have they been given a gift? Is there reason to hope?
I think aspergers is a gift and I’ll tell you why.
In my world: etiquette, manners, and socially acceptable behavior often take center stage. It is easy to be polite at the expense of speaking truth.
But Doug looks at the world in a different way. He reads Torah and he keeps Torah. He is not concerned about how his behavior will be perceived by others. He is not enslaved by the fear of man. He doesn’t ask, “What will they think of me?” He simply does what is right, no matter what. Sometimes I would love that freedom. I have made decisions in the past based on what outside influences pressured me into.
In Scripture, we see people who have stepped outside of social convention and stood up to do what was right. When Moses found the golden calf, he asked who would stand for YHVH. The Levites stood with Moses. They went against the crowd and gained the priesthood. Gideon destroyed the pagan alters and became a leader of the Israelites, even though everyone else pressured him to stop.
An aspie does not understand social protocol, therefore he cannot be imprisoned by it. He can choose to do right against the current. His only obstacle is learning to go against the flow in such a way that others will want to follow him. When he stands, he must only stand for right.
My challenge is to encourage this unique gift. I must teach Sadie to stand for right, even if she stands alone. But right must always mean Torah. Torah is the foundation of right, the foundation of life, the foundation of all other Scripture. And when she stand for right, she must do it in love. Conveniently, Torah also tells us how to love.
You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
To love our neighbor as Torah teaches, we must love them as we love ourselves. For example, if I want a big brownie for myself, loving my neighbor means I offer a big brownie to them, too. Many of us struggle with this. If I give them a big brownie, then there’s less for me. I must overcome my selfishness to truly show love. This goes against my base nature. There is only one way to overcome my nature. Yahshua came to give us a living example of Torah, for He is Torah in the flesh. When I accept His redemptive work on the cross, and begin to follow His instructions in Torah, He gives me power to obey. He helps me to rise above my selfish nature and “offer my neighbor a big brownie.” A person with aspergers is no different. They must rise above selfishness and, with Yahshua’s power, they must learn to love their neighbor as themselves.
An aspie has the gift of seeing the world in black and white, but they must also learn to love their neighbors. And neighbors tend to come in shades of gray, not all good and not all bad. But that is a topic for another post.