When she wants something she comes and takes me by the hand and leads me into the kitchen. Then she thrusts my hand toward the freezer. That’s her way of telling me that she wants a popsicle. Or, if she wants to go outside, she leads me to the door and pushes my hand toward the door knob. Every day, she does this. Many, many times a day.
It’s called autistic leading, and it’s regarded as a “primitive” form of communication.
Sometimes autistic leading gets on my nerves. Because I’m usually busy blogging doing something important when my hand is suddenly hijacked and I’m dragged to the freezer. Because she is so very persistent, and even though I’ve already tried to explain that, no, you cannot have another popsicle because you have not eaten dinner, she insists on dragging me to the freezer over and over again. Because sometimes I wish for the life of me that she would “just use words!”
Bad mommy confession time. In moments of frustration, there have been times when I have removed my hand. That is, I stick my hand in my pocket or behind my back… I do not allow her to take my hand and lead me to the refrigerator. When I have done this, her ability to get what she wants – her primary means of communicating what she needs – is removed. It’s almost as if I have rejected her, cut her off. She crumbles to the floor in frustration, and she cries. It breaks my heart every time.
So I let her lead me.
Even if when we get where we’re going the answer will still be ‘no’. At least I know she was able to communicate her wishes.
It makes me wonder how often I have removed my hand – cut off communication – when the Father wants to lead. The well-known Psalm 23 says “He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” How often do I miss out on those quiet waters because I refuse to follow, because I will not be led? Communing with God and taking His lead is not so complicated really. Maybe for starters, it just means we unclinch our fist and hold out our hand.