Belittled by neighbors. Spoken down to by family. Treated less-than by those who have initials after their names or positions of authority. Sadly, this is a common experience for us who are raising children with special needs. “Experts” and commoners alike have no problem giving full-air to their opinions, unflinchingly telling us where they think we are going wrong. It is seriously condescending.
This same air of superiority can come in the form of pity or misjudgment when a child is hospitalized. Parents are questioned about how we are caring for our child or dismissed when we seek certain courses of treatment.
“You’re babying him.”
“You’re not pushing the doctors hard enough.”
Holidays seem to invite even more remarks from those we seldom see. Value judgments are made by those unwilling to step into the difficulty of our lives the remainder of the year, making family gatherings especially cumbersome. The comments fly as we parents recoil, sometimes shrinking back, sometimes lashing out. We really could do without condescension!
Or could we? Where is God at times like this? Where is His presence to shield us?
He can be found here…
When we find our families in the midst of the storm, whether it be hospitalization, stress at home, or difficulties with the school, we can find comfort in condescension. However, this isn’t the type of condescension that occurs when someone belittles or talks down to us. Instead, it is the awesome, omnipotent God himself stooping down to make us great.
No matter what our circumstances, Christmas always brings us reason to give praise. When Jesus took all of that infinite power and wisdom, and confined it in the tiny body of a baby, our pains became His own. From the moment He came into the world, His circumstances were less than optimal. He suffered all of the pain that the average, underprivileged human suffers and more. He was hungry. He was lonely. He was insulted and ostracized. He was penniless. He was homeless. He stooped down out of the glorious riches of heaven enduring the belittling persecution of religious leaders and government authorities. All of this pain He condescended to for our sake.
Because He came, we have the opportunity to run to the loving arms of Someone who knows exactly how hard life is. We don’t have to go it alone. Like a loving parent soothing a small child, He crouches down, wipes our tears, and reassures us.
Jesus stepped down into our painful reality and suffered like us in every way, yet was without sin. (See Hebrews 4:15) And as if this sacrifice weren’t enough, His perfection made Him the only qualified, unblemished One adequate to satisfy the payment due for all that is wrong with this world. His arrival and sacrifice built a bridge from this hopeless, difficult life to a tearless, painless, deathless eternity that we could never have experienced without Him. Because He condescended to us, we can look forward with joyful expectation knowing that Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Hemophilia, Spina Bifida and the like do not have the final say. Hindrances in this life are transformed into stairways to Paradise because Jesus was willing to step down into our reality.
When the world’s type of condescension makes us feel insulted or battered, we can know that our Light came close to push back such darkness. Neither hospitalization nor trauma nor abuse can now separate us from the God who loves us. Our identity lays in His value of us alone. We have a great future in store because Jesus stooped down, grabbed hold of us, and drew us to the hope of a regal eternity.