​The Teachable Heart

Volume 1, Day 1 – In The Image of the Same God

My older daughter, Amanda, has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (a form of autism)
since early childhood. She is a wonderfully bright child with a heart of gold – and she sees life
through a unique set of lenses.

A few years ago, she randomly asked, “Dad, why do others have to put a label on me?” I tried
to give her an academic response, explaining that it was to help the rest of us try to understand
people with similar characteristics, etc. She didn’t buy it for a second. In fact, her response
blew me away, and I’ve never looked at her the same in the years since. “But Daddy, I’m not
sick,” she replied, “I just think differently than they do.” Before I could recover from that
profound truth, she went on to add something far too wise for her thirteen years – words that hit
me right between the eyes and brought this once pride-filled dad to his knees. “Daddy, I was
made in the image of the same God they were.”

Seems like such a simple truth today, but for years I had let well-meaning people convince me
that my precious daughter was a problem to be fixed – as something broken, and as someone
who, as her parent, I shouldn’t take pride in. Scripture tells us to “delight” in our children – yet in
my formerly tainted view, I wondered how a parent could delight in something that was
“damaged.” My tendency was to frantically strain and search for the perfect remedy that would
somehow make everything ‘better.’

But because of the godly insight of a tender child, I now ignore those telling me my kiddo is a
problem, and I have learned to take delight in Amanda just as she is. Turns out that the one
God wanted to change….was me.

How do we view those around us – those we see as being the same as us, and those we see as
being vastly different? Beginning today, start repeating this truth, “They were made in the
image of the same God I was.”

God created man in His own image… (Genesis 1:27, NASB)