Video’s BACK STORY:
To get an idea of who Nathan is, and how he thinks (a VERY rough estimation) I’ll be posting some video of interviews with him on his thoughts about God, spiritual things, love, truth, Scripture, Christianity, and things that pertain to this delving into his spiritual formation and understanding.
Nathan caught the fish shown in the jar at the lake today. As is sometimes the case, he didn’t want to talk much in general, but through a short series of videos, starting with this one, I hope to flesh out some of his ideas about God, Christianity, the Bible, and what he is like as a person, as his moves to greater maturity.
For a few months he’s had adverse reactions and responses to attending church, to hearing prayer (at home and elsewhere), speaking about God, and the like. What is really going on inside him? I don’t know. Perhaps it is merely pre-adolencent surge of self-expression and independence. Or perhaps, like me and many others, he has to come to terms with God in his own time, and in his own way. As recently as 6 months ago, Nathan claimed to love and believe in the God of the Bible. Now he says that he know longer believes what he did before. Perhaps as I investigate more will come to light.
Like all of us, Nathan is a work in progress. My hope is not to compell Nathan to swiftly see things “my way” (your basic Nicene Creed stuff), but rather to engage this perplexing time as a vital part of his growth as a person and a spiritual being made in the image of God…even if that means he goes into some very messy places on the way. Most of us don’t realize just how messy we are.
A few years ago Nathan told me that God’s love was in [him]. I still believe it is. In reality I can’t force him to believe anything. Plus he notices all too well when that is the intension, so it’s incredibility counterproductive to simply debate or convince him.
Part of being a parent is to guide (not command) and be willing to go into challenging territory. This is just that.
I have full confidence in the grace of God (not an angry white, bearded man in the sky, but the Supreme Being of Mercy) to save my son, and meet him where he is, now and for all times.
Nathan has mental challenges, and it is a profound lesson in grace for me to know that my understanding, or lack of understanding about God and reality is not what saves me (or anybody else) from separation from God. I don’t know where this journey will go, or how long I will chronicle it, or discuss it here, but I ask that you join me.
The greater journey here for all of us may involve our own theological concepts that include beliefs, theories, or knowledge of how we come to know God, grace, and move along in spiritual growth/formation. It also raises bigger and more formidable questions like:
• How do the mentally challenged fit (or how well do they fit) into our typical Christian model in the family of God/body of Christ, or a compassionate and healthy society?
• How much do we think our knowledge saves us?
• How do we minister and aid people (of many varieties) in their spiritual understanding and personal growth. And plenty more…
All big questions and I welcome your comments or reflections throughout this process.
SO–What questions would you ask Nathan?
For your own reflection or comment here: What is it about mental disability that may change your ideas of grace/salvation, or put your beliefs, doctrine, or knowledge to the test, if any?
What else is important to explore in this process? (I’m taking input during this process.)
Thanks for your help!