I loved show-and-tell day when I was in Kindergarten. I was consumed with excitement to share my beloved teddy bear, rock collection, or other deeply meaningful item that I had dug up that week. My heart would skip a beat when the teacher called out my name for my turn.
To me, and all the other kids in Kindergarten, we were all sharing the greatest treasures known to mankind. We were so sold-out on how fabulous our show-and-tell item was that our enthusiasm was contagious. Everyone who watched our demonstration was in awe of our item, even envious of it, they too wanted one of what we had to go with their collection of show-and-tell-able treasures!
“He said to them, ‘Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or bed? Instead, don’t you put it on the stand?” (Mark 4:21 NIV).
These words from Jesus remind me a little bit of show and tell. In show and tell, your teacher asked you to bring in something that your classmates didn’t know about, something that was important to you, something that had meaning, and you shared it with them.
In the same way,
God calls me as a parent of children on the autism spectrum to do some “show and tell.”
As Christian father I have something in my life that is important to me. It has meaning. And I want to share it. I am talking about my relationship with Jesus Christ. As moms and dads who know the Lord, it’s our responsibility to share our faith with our kids. Show and tell. That’s a big part of what Jesus is talking about in Mark 4:21.
“Do you bring in a lamp…”
Think about a lamp. What’s its purpose? A lamp is positioned strategically to do one thing: cast its light on a specific area. My lampstand in my living room is designed to cast light towards the sofa to make it easier for me to read. The lamp in my bedroom cast it’s light toward the pictures of my family on the dresser.
As a father of boys on the autism spectrum, God has strategically placed me as a “lamp” in my home. To do what? To cast light on God’s love, His goodness, and reveal His Son…to my sons. I’ve learned over the years that life with boys on the autism spectrum can be challenging. I’ll admit that there have been times when I’ve been more like a lamp “under a bowl or bed” rather than one “on the stand.” I’m not a perfect parent…far from it. I don’t have it all figured out.
But I do know that He will honor even my most feeble attempts at “show and tell.”
Our kids spend way more time with us than they do at church. And that’s if you can find a church where you feel comfortable. For this reason, if our children are going to learn more about Jesus and the depth of His love for them, then moms and dads…parents just like you and I…need to do a little “show and tell.”
Laurie Wallin (@mylivingpower) says
Thanks, Mike. I needed that simplicity today. No matter how hard behaviors get, no matter how much laundry I have to do for my daughter’s soiling/wetting, no matter how tired I feel, it’s really only about ONE thing. How can I shine my light on who God is and the love he’s got for me and the kids. Just one thing. I think I can do that today :).
Laurie, I love that idea…”Just one thing I think I can do today.” Sometimes we get this idea we have to do this whole family devotional-type thing and who has time (or energy?) for that?
Just one thing…each day…can really add up and make a difference in the long run.
Gillian Marchenko says
I loved this Mike. It was encouraging and convicting at the same time. Thank you!
Gillian…convicting. That’s exactly how I felt after reading “Spiritual Parenting” and realized that I was letting my boys’ labels (“severe autism”) neglect their spiritual formation. My bad.