Monday, March 27, 2006

Like a Piece of Handmade Lace

There is a young man who likes to spend time on the swings in our local playground. He can be found there in all kinds of weather, early in the morning, the afternoon or late in the day. I've never seen him speak to anyone. He bicycles over, and swings, high and long, then bicycles home.

I don't know the young man, but I suspect he has autism. People with autism can be soothed by repetitive behavior. Perhaps he simply likes to swing.

I suspect that some in the strollet set, might be bothered by this young man. Who is he? Why is he here all the time? Would he harm someone?

He justs wants to swing.

And I got to thinking that, whereas we'd all like our children to be perfect in every way - after all, no one wishes disease or hardship on their children - that is not always going to be the case.

And why not? If God made us in his image, shouldn't we all be perfect?

Yet, clearly we are not. Even those of us without diseases of mind or body are far from perfect.

Medical science has tried to do away with those diseases. Some have tried to do away with people suffering from them. Many people would consider it almost thoughtful to abort a baby who, if allowed to live, would suffer from some grave malady. But, those who suffer from those same maladies, say they value their lives. They may be different, they may have problems, but their life is still a beautiful thing to them.

And then I thought about a trip I made to Belgium, years ago, with my friend, Liz. We went to a lace shop and someone asked "How can you tell handmade lace from machine-made lace?"

The answer: "The handmade lace has mistakes in it."

Now, God doesn't make mistakes, and I'm not saying he does. But isn't humanity kind of like a piece of handmade lace (made by God's hand) and isn't it more valuable, and yes, even more beautiful, because it is not all uniformly perfect?

Because, of course, the handmade lace is the more desirable.

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