Seeing God....

Daniel is learning everything he possibly can about space – satellites, exploration, stars, planets, and constellations. We’ve scoured the public library for space science books which must contain Orion, or according to Daniel, they aren’t “worth my time reading”.

He glued foam stars to 8 1/2×11 sheets of computer paper, re-creating his favorite constellations to cover his bedroom walls. He intently studies them every day, repeating their names quietly to himself. At night, he waits for the “earth to revolve so that it will be night”, begging us to go out with him to see the stars.

Last week, on a very cold and rainy New England winter day, his sister and I adorned his ceiling with several varieties of glow-in-the-dark planets and stars, while he cheered us on, “you are my darling girls, my sweethearts, my loves!”. That night, he laid between us on his bedroom floor, eyes “skyward”, his little voice filled with disbelief, asking us if this was “really my ceiling and are you sure, really, really sure this isn’t the real heaven here in my room, on my very own ceiling?”

I’ve lost count the number of times we’ve watched an hour-long high-school-level space science DVD, magnificently illustrating the wonder and beauty of our galaxy, his eyes never leaving the screen.

On sunny days, he begs one of us to set the kitchen timer to count down 8-minutes. He waits patiently doing his schoolwork, occasionally checking the remaining time, having developed a sense when its down to its last 30 seconds. Leaping out of his chair, standing by the patio door to count down the final seconds with the timer, ”...5…4…3….1….” he announces the arrival of, “the light that left the sun 8 minutes ago just hit our back yard!”

I’m aware, when I watch him passionately learn, I’m seeing Someone In The Making – his capacity and desire to learn, a thing of wonder to me. Like so many aspects of this new Autistic world, to which I’m trying to develop some level of comfort, those things that fill me with wonder, also fill me with concern.

Unlike “normally” developing children, his intense passions, the ability to quickly soak up facts and figures of distances, sizes, degrees, and discuss nothing BUT that, for days on end, is something I’m learning to direct, shaping him in ways that won’t limit him to a Rain Man encyclopedic existence, void of human connections which require less provable facts, and more intangible emotion.

In an effort to avoid most things of space, I created a week-long science lesson on light. Flashlights, transparent and opaque objects, reflective, and refractive – for several afternoons he politely participated in hands-on experiments. I’d describe his attitude as “tolerant” towards my animated, participatory lessons, not displaying the same level of enthusiasm as he had the prior week when he became the rotating, revolving Planet Earth around his Sister Sun.

Four days went by without mention of planets, or their moons, until one afternoon, busily coloring the rainbow refracted through a filled water glass, placed in the sunshine pouring through the front door, he queried me with his Most Serious Voice, “Mommy, do you know why I like space as much as I do?”.

I took a deep breath wondering if this was the beginning of a multi-hour barrage of Every Fact Known To Daniel about Mars. I made a few cautious guesses. Each was met with a gentle, “nope”.

“I give up”, I said. “Tell me why you like space as much as you do”. Leaning forward, giving me one of his rare eye-locking stares he said, “Because I can see God, Mommy. I know you tell me He’s here, here on earth, but I can’t see Him as well. But when I look into space, I see him everywhere. I see everything He has made. And it makes me love Him”.

I’ve heard many confessions of faith, from others, in the Lord. To my ears, that was the most beautiful of all. “Let’s watch the space DVD with him, Mom”, suggested Sarah, his big sister, taking his hand, leading him to the familyroom. There, cuddled together, we watched and admired the handiwork of God, my fears put aside.

De 4:19 “And {beware} not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Job 22:12 “Is not God {in} the height of heaven? Look also at the distant stars, how high they are!

Psalm 8:3-4 “When I consider Your heavens,the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?”

Ps 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Ps 147:4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.

Ps 148:3 Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!

Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these {stars,} The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of {His} power, Not one {of them} is missing.

Romans 1:20 0 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

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