Advent devotion: A set of miracles
By Jennifer Bailey
We learn, when we are small, that other people at the holiday table don’t see what we do. We learn that a flower bouquet blocks Auntie from seeing the salt. At some point we realize that our brain takes signals and renders what it thinks “fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains” look like, and what it tells us the wind and waves sound like. That you and your aunt may see the same flower, but each decided what it was.
My mother left her first eye exam with new glasses and parents who wondered why she hadn’t told them that to her, trees were green blobs. She hadn’t experienced leaves and branches. We learn to explain a concert to someone who wasn’t able to attend, but we struggle to explain something novel to them, and words fail us when we try to use them with someone who is blind or deaf.
God’s creation somehow, usually, goes from an image in the brain to asking for the salt. And we hope we will share ideas, not just seasonings, with others who don’t process the same way we do.
I never doubted that home was a place of love. I would be accepted, even if I habitually disappeared. I could choose to join a game of Dominoes started, or be alone. Whatever else, there was love an acceptance there. And people sharing what they loved with me.
But while my family could be counted on to listen, I learned, outside of it, to stay on the silent outskirts. To not even go if there would be no task and no list of questions. My wonder of a new idea, a new glimpse of creation, tended to stay inside me. “Small talk” had to come first, and it baffled me. And then came the shock of successfully chatting… through typed words. The shock of learning, at 34, about my Autism. My nascent attempts to be a part of a community, online and off.
I have never doubted a world of wonder, or of God’s love. But the opportunities to share the simple wonders of every day… that is a set of miracles.
Jennifer Bailey lives in Davenport surrounded by books, craft supplies, and the gadgets that connect her to the world. Her assistance Sheltie picks up the ones she drops, and reminds her to get out of the chair occasionally.