*Emma approved this post before I published it.
Yesterday was our second day working with Soma. And just when I thought I could not be more blown away by anything Emma wrote, she wrote the title to this post. It was in response to a conversation about Mesopotamia, ancient civilizations, buildings and building materials, which led to Soma discussing the types of structures built, one being temples. Soma asked Emma why people would go into a temple, to which Emma wrote, “pray”. Soma then asked her if she went into a temple what would she pray about. Emma then wrote, “I want to know what god thinks about autism.”
I have to interrupt this to say, I am not a believer. I had a moment, a very brief moment in my teens and again in my thirties when I so wanted to believe, I needed to believe and yet still could not really believe in any way that made sense to me. God is not something I obtain any solace or strength from believing in, and well… truthfully, I’ve stopped trying. I don’t need to believe. Having said that, my husband and I talk about god, religion, spirituality, the practice of acceptance and staying present, meditation, doing the right thing, and what a power greater than ourselves means on any given day. So there is a fair amount of “god-like” talk going on. In addition, my mother is a theologian and has taught bible study classes for many decades. She used to attend a Torah study and I believe does again now. She is one of the most knowledgable and interesting people I know of to talk to about religion and god.
The point is, Emma has certainly been present to a great many conversations about god, the bible and religion. But never has she said the word “god” let alone, used the word in a sentence. And it must be said, we never thought to ask her… When both children were still very young I bought a number of children’s books on a variety of religions, and made some general statement about the importance of learning and deciding for yourself what you believe. We still have those books; I’ve never seen Emma look at them, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t. And anyway, as I said, it’s not as though she hasn’t heard a great deal of talk about God.
Later I asked Emma if she believed in God and she wrote simply, “yes”.
If there is a god, I’d like to know what god thinks about autism, too. I’m guessing here, but I should think god is embracing and celebrating all neurologies. After all, most people I know who believe in the existence of god believe that god created us the same and equal and beautiful beings, given the gift of choice. We can choose to act with love, compassion and kindness or we can choose to behave in hurtful ways that cause tremendous pain and suffering. Either way, according to those I trust and respect on the topic, God is always there for us, all of us, all the time, and without exception.