Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Gift of the Magi

Teaching two big classes of future software developers. Alongside our reading on the very good story Gift of the Magi, I got the students to present on the topic "The Best Gift". And decided to join in:


Supernatural power is found not only in computer games. I learned this keenly after giving birth to my son, who has autism. Autism means that my son cannot communicate easily. From young, he didn't seem to understand much of what we said. What's more disturbing is that he couldn't tell us what he thinks. Even now, at 14 years old, he sometimes breaks into tears and we never know why because he couldn't answer our questions. Is it because he couldn't find the words? Or because he didn't want to tell? It's a mystery among many other mysteries that we have to live with, because of his autism. Recently I wondered to myself - because my son could never tell us why, we were never able to help him solve whatever problem it was that was causing him such grief. Almost always, I could only console him by assuring him that Mommy loves him. But the root issue was never resolved. Is love enough, to carry him through all of life's problems? Other than speechless grief that breaks my heart to witness, the challenge of raising an autistic child is meltdown that can build up without warning, especially when outside the house. My son is very tall and strong. How do I get him home when he is upset and wants to stomp his feet, cry out loud, run away, outside the house? During these nerve-racking moments, I summon my supernatural power. I pray: God, help me! And wait for help to come. Therein lies my hope and my courage. It is what keeps me trying. Because I have long come to see that there're serious limits to what a human can do. Without supernatural help, caring for an autistic child is too long and too difficult a journey. If there is no God,  what hope have I that my best is good enough, and that my worst can be remedied? So I do what I can, and leave the rest to God whom I believe is much more able and who loves me and my child enough to intervene, and help. If you ask me what is the greatest gift, I will tell you - it is the gift of prayer.

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