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Monday, February 17, 2020
Musings: A Cup of Coffee and Two Small (For Now) Fish
Philippians 4:8, NIV: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
OK, I can do that...
I was sitting quietly this morning, coffee in hand, and spending time with my therapist. Actually two therapists in the above 60 gallon "Goldfish Bowl". It also serves as a Television as I have not owned one in 20 years. Obviously with John Denver playing in the background many things come to mind. Turning 70 when I am 27 in my head also helps
Poems, Prayer and Promises
I got to thinking about my brother and all the years of a quick dinner after church and then off to the State Hospital to visit him. This was a weekly ritual. It was in that State Hospital in Newark New York much of the fixer in me felt the tug towards ministry. After all, it was the greatest story ever told and ending up in WCG is no mystery to me. With a blind, deaf and speechless brother, those Wonderful World Tomorrow scriptures beckoned. They don't speak of such things in the Dutch Reformed environment. You live, you stay in church, you die and you go to Heaven. That's it. Even Hell never came up with the Dutch.
I have recounted the brother story a number of times, so as to avoid the "here we go again" problem, I'll just leave the story at that. The experiences every week seeing what can go so badly wrong with humans, mentally and physically as they mixed them all together back in the day, needless to say, molded my worldview from about age 5 onwards. And too...it was the 60's.
That being said, I got to thinking about Dr Bob Thiel. Behind the scenes of his life, I know he, his wife and siblings if present have the same challenge , or at least I believe this to be so and correct me if I am mistaken, with a special needs child. I don't know the nature of it. But I do know the challenge it must be as a parent. I know the work it takes to keep up with it all and the extra care needed to keep the family together and thriving. I know it's hard mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The well meaning, I suppose, Presbyterian minister of my parents day told them at some point "Well, you must have done something wrong or you'd not have had a handicapped child". A bit enraging of course but that crack motivated my mom to spend the rest of her life being the perfect mom, perfect woman and perfect human being. She spent a lot of her life, it seemed, proving "I'm not dirty!" I miss them both, of course, but they made it to just under a hundred years old and died within months of each other as we suspected they would.
I also know how appealing the "Good News of the Wonderful World Tomorrow" can be and why one can end up not only embracing it because of our own special needs but because of having such a challenge in the family. It may explain a lot of the zeal to believe and do the right things and share that belief. We all do it as only the subjects and motives change I suppose.
That being said, credit where credit is due and all differences, and my own theological or weather related criticisms aside :), for the moment, I understand the quiet behind the scenes struggle and burden special needs children bring to the family table. This includes, of course, Mrs Thiel and any other children whose lives also are affected in many ways in such an environment growing up. It does bestow compassion , patience and a perspective that seeks hope that perhaps only those who have experienced it can understand. I have also seen it tear families to shreds with the stress and strain of it all.
I just wanted to honor and say something positive Dr Bob Thiel and family though in spite of our observations about the Wild World Church of God experience, splits and splinters.
My therapist says we're not finished, wrap it up and to pay attention, or she will move on to another appointment