As I mentioned in my last post, I finally landed a job. I am working with students who have special needs and even though I am only three days at my new job, God is truly teaching me a whole new set of lessons on grace, patience, and love.
I think that one of the biggest lessons I have learned already is that we all desire to be understood. It doesn’t matter if you are an kid with special needs, a typical individual frustrated with his or her marriage, or a Christian guy dealing with same sex attractions, being understood is essential to our satisfaction and happiness in life. As I work with these kids with special needs, they don’t start acting out simply because they are bad kids. More often than not, it usually is because I am unable to understand what they are trying to communicate to me. As a result, the only way they can express their frustrations is by falling to the ground, over turning every table in the room, or stripping naked and running down the hallway screaming. While my initial response always seems to be “What the heck is wrong with this kid?” I soon realize that my question should be “What am I not understanding that he is so desperately trying to communicate?”
Even though I may not strip naked and run around yelling every time I feel as though I am not understood, I think that I have my own methods of screaming for people to recognize and understand the state I am in. Whether it be me ranting through a blog post, constantly pointing out the flaws of the church, or guilt tripping my friends for their lack of support, I can exhibit some rather pathetic behavior at times. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with having the desire to be understood, it is merely a recognition of the grace that I need to learn to extend to others when they are unable to fill the hole that I have in my life.
While I am looking forward to how I can be used to help these kids at my workplace, I have a strong feeling that I may walk away from this experience having learned far more than the kids I am working with every day.