“Oh I think every church should have at least one!” I grinned and nodded my approval. After all it wasn’t meant to be personal was it? No, it was just a throw away comment from Mrs Super Christian as she sloshed mushy peas over the pies I passed her.
One what? A missionary box, a disabled toilet, a bat in the belfry? It sounded like something inanimate or at least sub human!
In fact he was Timothy, one of those whiffy, intellectually challenged beings, living on state benefits, wearing clothes from the Oxfam shop, and attending our church functions occasionally, whenever there was a hint of foodies on the agenda.
Now don’t misunderstand me, Mrs Super C does an awful lot of charitable deeds in the name of God. She and Mr. Super C, a passive, subservient sort of chap, work very hard to raise funds for the new extension, and have always diligently placed the Lords ‘tenth’ in the Sunday morning offering. What’s more, they use their posh, shiny Range Rover to round up the strays and backsliders from the village, and chauffeur them to Sunday Evening gospel meeting?
Now credit where it’s due, they clock up more hours service for the Lord than I ever do!
My feathers are ruffled and Super C’s words are gnawing my neurones as I reflect on the events of the day. I startle as the back door bangs open, and with a bellowing,
“Hi...eee,” my very own, home grown, ‘one of those that every church should have,’ tumbles in.
I hear Velcro being pulled apart and boots kicked across the kitchen. A bulging backpack is dumped unceremoniously on the sofa, as Josh heads for the conservatory door.
I watch as the gentle giant lumbers clumsily and bare foot to the bird table, wearing ever too small shorts, t-shirt with huge Harley -Davidson print, and baseball cap pulled well down at the front, with long strands of unwashed hair poking through the gap at the back. A huge ginger beard completes the image of one very odd looking young man.
“Have you eaten?” I call.
“Inside or out?”
“IN! MUM! ... Any more questions?” I know when to stop.
I have to be happy and thankful that my precious, learning disabled son is living out there in the community, independently, just like many other young men in their twenty’s. Of course, others may have wives and children, partners or flatmates. Or at the very least friends who call round or meet socially once in a while.
My son has just been out for a McDonalds, alone, as always.
He will have been stared at, and his table avoided. Youths who hang around the precinct will have jeered and called him hurtful names. I know because I’ve been there when it’s happened, and I’ve taught him to turn the other cheek, to just carry on with what he’s doing, because he’s no different to anyone else, and he has a right to be there.
I’ve watched his confidence grow with his stature over the years, and I’ve let him go. He has to find his place in the world so that when I’m no longer here for him he can survive.
I’m amazing! Tough, dedicated and resilient. That’s what friends tell me, and they should know shouldn’t they? They’re the ones who spend time with me. I’m the one they call when they need cheering up. Always dependable, never down, bright and bubbly. That’s me. A real tonic!
Josh ambles back down the garden, stooping to pick up little treasures on the way. A tiny sparrow feather from beneath the feeder, fallen apples from the fruit tree and an interesting golden leaf blown from over the fence.
“Need anything sunshine,” I ask, as his finds are stuffed into pockets too small.
“Nah! Bye...eee.” And he’s off.
Back to his tiny, one bedroom apartment on the shabby estate where the other, ‘every church should have one’s’ are housed.
Now it’s my time. I lock the doors, switch off the mobile, and settle down to indulge my own desperate need for an empathetic ear.
I start by thanking God for giving me such a special, innocent, trusting child to love and to care for. And then, I begin to crumble.
Every cell in my body is overwhelmed with compassion and concern for my baby’s future, as I dissolve into unstoppable tears, and yearn for what might have been.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.