Chicken Pox and God

Originally posted 24 October 2011

Odd title isn’t it? You are probably thinking to yourselves that you already know where this post os going, but I might just prove you wrong, so stick around and see. Before I actually begin, this is all based on conversations I have had with my son about conversations he has had with others while he has been down with chicken pox. For those of you who do not know, my son is 10, he is a bi-polar autistic. What does this matter? He thinks differently than you and I do to break it down to its simplest form. On the surface he appears as any other child, but when you get deeper into knowing him you realize he has some truly amazing gifts. So, the reasoning for this post is to convey messages my son has had to the world while having chicken pox.It is a rare occasion when I see my son down and out. He has been out of school since last Wednesday and easily has another week out of school because of the chicken pox. Throughout last week and over the weekend, he has had a few visitors I never expected to see at my house. Fortunately, he is one of those children who have made a very positive impact on people’s lives, more than I could have ever imagined. His 5th grade homeroom teacher was the first to visit, Jackson was excited…………..she was bringing homework. Actually, it was a good will visit. She was bringing a get well card from the class and some of the teachers and staff. They sat and talked a bit and in the end she promised him she would come back by with homework, that made his day.

He was unable to attend our weekly Cub Scout meeting this past Thursday, but encouraged me to go because I am the leader and the other boys should not have to suffer by me missing. So, pretty unprepared, I went, had a meeting, and was surprised to find out how missed Jackson really was. His friends had prepared a get well card and basket for him and asked if I would give it all to him. Well, of course I will. I had to excuse myself for a few moments, couldn’t let my boys see the tears in my eyes. When I stepped back in, it was time to end the meeting, we said our goodbyes and whatnot and everyone left. I cleaned up, locked up, loaded the car, and went home myself. When I got home, Jackson was sleeping, so his mom and I talked for a bit and then we went to bed. The next day, Friday, in the evening, a few friends brought pizzas over for everyone. They chatted with Jackson for a few minutes and then left us to eat.

Saturday is choir practice day at church. My son looks forward to this more than anything else in life. He was crushed when I explained he would not be going. I called his choir teacher and they were able to talk and she gave him encouraging words and wished him a speedy recovery. He spent the entire day signing, as if he were at practice, it was wonderful. Sunday rolled around and my wife, my 15 y/o daughter and I were up getting dressed to get them off to church and for me to go pick up the people I pick up to take to church. Now, here is the hard part. My son explained to me that he should be able to go to church because God accepts everyone into his house or worship, the old, the poor, the young, the rich, and the sick. He is right, but, as I explained to him, he is still considered infectious and wouldn’t he feel bad if he got others sick. He agreed. The Sunday routine came and went, we all returned home, and I was just starting a brunch because we were all pretty hungry.

I answered the door after hearing the lite knocks. It was their pastor and his wife, coming to give Jackson some words of encouragement and to express how badly they had missed him. My wife, the pastor, his wife, and Jackson spoke quietly on the couch for about 30 minutes. They politely declined brunch with us, stating they had their own family waiting on them. Fair enough. My wife seems a bit distracted by the whole visit, so I asked her why. Apparently my son asked why God let him get sick and why God was not helping him to get better. He has been praying to God and his prayers were unanswered. When asked, the pater gave an answer that was not acceptable for some reason. He explained to the pastor that if he could not tell him who God is or why God has not come to help him, there must not be a God.

Now, it is my fault. It is my fault that my son is asking questions about God’s existence because I do not believe in God. My wife knows I do not discuss my religious beliefs in our house, around her, my family, or to my children. I support them going to church, being christians, and their beliefs. My son and I had a long talk last night when everything settled for the evening. I asked where this all came from and was it because of me basically. The answer was no, that he has had alot of time to think about what he has learned in all of his years of be a christian. He said he never asked God for anything, ever. Until now, he wanted God to help him get past this period of misery and he feels let down. Ok, well, I am the wrong person for him to be talking to about this subject. He held my hand and tells me that he still believes in God, but knows now he doesn’t make house calls, he supposes God is busy elsewhere. He knows that God is there, he just wanted God to make a moment or two for Jackson as Jackson takes the time to include God in his life.After I tucked him in, I went outside to smoke, to think, and smoke some more. I finally went back inside, stopped by his bedroom, and watched him sleep for a few minutes. After taking a shower, I went to bed, unable to sleep, so I lay there thinking about our conversation. I must have fallen asleep at some point because I woke up this morning. My wife is taking off this week to be with him, they are still sleeping. I kissed both of them on the forehead and left for the day.

I just wanted to share my story with you, I hope you don’t mind.