Monthly Archives: March 2019

The Father of an Autistic

I watched the father of an autistic son recently. The loving care given by this father was visible in many ways, but none brought any emotional response from the son. Knowing this father and son for many years, I recognize the fatherly love and care is genuine. The father has protected and provided in every way possible for his son’s well-being. At 33, the son is now a man and the father has thought about his future and planned for it as well.

There was a moment at this son’s birthday celebration where the father asked for a hug. His specific autism is non-verbal and severe. His ability for functioning is much like a baby. After several coaxings, the son drew near, which was all he could understand, and the father embraced his son. The son walked away with no emotion, no evidence of comprehending, only silence.

Something stirred in me that night. We as human beings have a heavenly father who genuinely loves us and invites us to respond. He wants to communicate with us even when we turn away. He wants us to know He values us, has provided for us and will never stop caring for our needs. The God who created us invites us to draw near, to know Him, to respond to His kindness.

Although the physically autistic son does not have the capacity to respond, he did know he could draw near in that moment, and his father’s arms would reach out. He does know he will be safe when in his father’s care. He knows his father will let him have some nuts, one of his favorite foods! This father has taken the time to understand his son as profoundly as possible, but his heart breaks when he talks of just wanting to know what might be in his son thoughts, whether he knows what life means, how much he understands. One of the father’s griefs is being unable to do things together relationally as other fathers and sons do. He continually loves and values who his son is, knowing there will never be anything given in return.

I found this to be a powerful image of the heart of God for those He has created in His image. Even the best earthly father cannot compare to a heavenly One in the measure of desire for His children to know Him. To reach out to us when we don’t comprehend His love when there’s a rejection-like attitude or we can’t fully grasp His ways. Communication and relationship were only through symbols and abstract methods until He sent One to become like us; His Son who took human form to reveal the heart of His Father and show us how to relate. That passionate love continually pursues us, wanting us to understand, wanting us to draw near for the embrace that awaits, the relationship He desires.

Unlike the autistic son, we do have the ability to communicate with our Father because One stepped into our world and bridged the language of His ways. There are infinite ways that His love is revealed if we choose to see. And the choice becomes ours whether to accept or reject the loving relationship He offers.

When we are ‘born of God’ we begin to grasp the ways that are beyond the natural realm. We are brought out of ‘darkness’ and into His marvelous light. It is a spiritual re-birth that makes everything new, enlightens our understanding and begins a journey for us to know the ways of our Father that go beyond human comprehension.

Copyright 2019 Nadine Helmuth Patton

All Rights Reserved

My books that teach kids (and adults) about how much God loves us, are available on Amazon. Or you can go to my Books page here:   Angels on Assignment books


Learning about Peace from a 6-year-old

This week I was playing an educational game with my grands. The 6-year-old wasn’t getting his way and I could see the emotional storm brewing. He’s usually a sunny kid. Although it wasn’t a competitive game, his perception was that he was being undermined and the thunder rolled in! After the wind and rain and a full-on emotional storm hit, I gave him the option to calm down away from the game. It didn’t help much, so I tried to bring some peace to the winds and waves with more choices. The one that included a snack did the trick. Grandparents can pick their battles, too!

I’ve written books for kids about choices and how much they matter. We talked about who he really is, strong and courageous. And that it’s his choice in how he responds to these feelings.

I had to give myself the same ‘choices’ talk yesterday. After a grueling 90-minute commute, I needed to make one stop for an item I’d forgotten to get for my husband. A woman brazenly cut in front of me in the check-out line and her attitude riled me. What was that about? I got the impression she felt a lot of superiority as she stepped past me and set her goods down. Perhaps a childhood insecurity was creeping up on my part, but the rudeness of her behavior was obvious. So, I stepped across to the only other checkout, but it had an upside-down closed sign, so I asked. The young man growled that he would go ahead and take me, making sure I understood my few items were an inconvenience to him personally. I tried to be sympathetic, asking if he’d had a long day, beginning to feel like I needed my own pity party. He literally roared NO and that he shouldn’t even be there anymore.

That stormy moment with my grandson came to mind as I faced my irritation head-on the rest of the way home in my car. These were really small incidents. Why was I affected by them? One of the things I used for the 6-year-old would also help me with immediate emotional well-being. Food! I hadn’t taken the time to eat well. That, and some Quiet time. It’s so easy to get sucked into the emotion of the world around us. There’s plenty of opportunity for irritation, taking on another’s ‘storm’, feeling undermined or offended if it’s not ‘our way’. We also have choices.

We can choose to become a part of the storm and continue it or choose to be a conduit of peace with the ripple effect it brings. It begins internally. We cannot give what we do not have. My well-being doesn’t come from outward sources. Not from circumstances or emotions. Not from others’ validating who I am or any insecurities from my past.

I believe we partner with beyond-human power one way or another. And we’re created with free will. We get to choose what we partner with.

There is only One who is the Prince of Peace. What He says about me is what matters. One can never have true peace without allowing Him to be The Source of Truth in our lives. And unless we believe that Truth, we don’t understand who we truly are. Like my grandson, my response is a choice. (We both chose peace, although it might have taken me longer to get there!)

When we choose to believe the truth of the Bible, we become truly free. I won’t rise above the injustices of this world unless I live with His Truth. Letting go of offenses and not having my way is the ‘dying to self’ that He taught.

Recognizing His truth will bring freedom to live with the conscious awareness of what matters most – my identity comes from One Source, the God in whose image I’m created. That brings peace to any storms I have.

My books that teach kids (and adults) about how much our choices matter, are available on Amazon. Or you can go to my Books page.


Copyright 2019 Nadine Patton

All Rights Reserved