On January 27th I got my third tattoo which is of my beloved first kitty, Sara. It was the ten year anniversary of her going Home. I got Sara when I was about nine years old and lost her when I was 25 years old. This was the original tattoo that I had been wanting since soon after she went Home.
I made it through the tattoo with flying colors and took the same medications as I did with my last two tattoos in order to slow down my muscle spasms. See here and here about my first tattoo experiences. Again, my mom was so excited and proud of me. It’s funny how even though I am 35 years old, I still need my mom’s approval and acceptance! It truly means a lot to me!
I have been thinking a great deal about love and acceptance with everything going on in both my world and the world in general. My husband and I no longer attend church because we’ve never found one that the people totally accepted us. Some people have and we are still friends with them, but many people assume that I am mentally disabled and talk to me like I am a child, well actually, worse. They are often patronizing to me. It drives me crazy! Of course, as I said, there are some who can see past my disability, but many can’t even after telling them that I have a Master’s Degree.
So when my friend, Jackie Heim, posted the following on her Facebook page, I felt sad but could really relate.
“I read that between 80-90% of parents with special needs kids do not attend church. There is no source for my information, so I can’t verify this. But, I believe the number is high (for sure higher than it should be). I’ll take my son anywhere – the library, the mall, the beach, swimming, a museum, a park, the grocery store, Disney World – anywhere but church. I can handle the comments and looks from strangers. Not being able to talk and not understanding everything said to you is a frustrating disability. From Christians, the one group of people who I want support from as as special needs parent, I get judgmental comments. Burdens of expectation concerning my son’s behavior are thrown on my shoulders. And, always by people who are doing nothing to help me with this burden. I have experienced this ever since dealing with my first language delayed child over a decade ago. It hasn’t gone away. And, the third time around I am dealing with an even more severe delay. So, I just don’t go. It’s easier that way.”
The very people, the Church, who are supposed to love and accept you for who you are, don’t! They want children to be these perfectly obedient robots and if they’re not then you need to spank/hit them. They never stop to think that the children may have special needs or they never try to understand about child development. To be so judgmental to parents and children is so wrong and un-Christlike.
I see the world becoming worse and worse which the Bible tells us to expect. But what I have been struggling with for years is that I didn’t realize that it would be the Christians that are often leading the way to destruction. We’re supposed to be leading people to the Light. I just don’t see that happening.
I believe that this is due to church doctrine. Church doctrine often appears to be aligned with the Bible, but when you look deeper, you see how much it strays from the Bible. Jesus was constantly with sinners and making them feel loved and welcome. In fact, people would run to Jesus when He was in their town!
“When they had crossed over they came to land at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was. Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured” (Mark 6:53-56, NASB).
It was always the self-righteous Pharisees and the teachers of the Law that scoffed, badgered, and ultimately crucified Jesus. Regular people just wanted to know more about Him and to understand Him.
Not long ago I posted on my Facebook personal page that I have recently found myself relating more to the tattoo culture than to the Christian culture. As strange as that may sound, it’s because the tattoo culture is so real, loving, and accepting! They are so Christlike and they don’t even know it. That is so scary and sad that a tattoo shop does what the Church ought to be doing.
We are born with a deep need for love and acceptance. Children absolutely crave it from their parents and never outgrow it. Jesus put us here to love and accept people in order to lead them to Him. There are a lot of people out there right now, young and old, of different races and ethnicities, and of different religions, and of all sexual orientations that are craving for love and acceptance! May we do our best to stop judging and begin loving and accepting the way Jesus does!