It is a long and slow process for me, a well-educated and nondisabled white male, to appreciate and to pay attention to the ways that God is working on the margins. But whether it is in pausing my frantic productivity to gaze for a moment at crisp pin-points of light in the night sky or in turning my attention to a neighbour who does not use words to communicate, I am “Learning how to say ‘Hallelujah’ from the ones who say it right.”
So much of what we do on a daily basis we do without qualifications. We walk through every conceivable season of a person’s life with them because we are the ones who happen to be present when the call comes.
What would it look like if we welcomed one another as we are, and took the time to learn how to love each other well?
I had ideas when he was born of what his adulthood would be like. Reality will be different than my imagination.
The quality of life for many people with disabilities is lower than it could be if more wheelchair manufacturers, occupational therapists and medical supply vendors made and sold products that effectively promoted the future of full societal participation.
Sometimes God provides needed support through unexpected people in unexpected places.
I am confident that God has called me to what many people refer to as “special” education. Really, it is just education for all.
"Hello. My name is Greg Cloud. I’m 29 years old. I have red hair, blue eyes and I am right-handed. I also have an extra chromosome. I was born with all of these. Like you I was beautifully made by my God."
What is it like to be a person with autism and to be a pastor of a church? That was a question that I was curious about until one day I found out that I had been one for fourteen years.
At eight years old I was diagnosed with autism. The educational specialists and doctors informed my parents that I would probably never read beyond a seventh grade level, attended college, or have a career. My mom was determined to prove the experts wrong by developing my unique gifts. As Proverbs 22:29 says, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve kings. He won't serve obscure men.” For me to develop my skills and be a minister I had to overcome five main autism quirks.