Sunday, February 04, 2007

God lives under the bed . . .

We all know or know about someone who is "different" than the norm. We meet them around, at school, in the bus, in the mall . . . .
Have you ever wondered how they feel about life? What are they thinking about, what occupy their mind?
Someone told me this story about his brother . . . .

I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.
He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, "Are you there, God?" he said. "Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed..."
I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humour. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.
He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labour. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult.
He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different.
Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?
Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favourite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.
The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers
excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.
He does not seem dissatisfied.
He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.
He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.
And Saturdays-oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside.
"That one's goin’ to Chi-car-go!" Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.
His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights
And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.
He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.

His life is simple.
He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.
He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.
He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.
He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.
Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an "educated" person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.
In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.
It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine
knowledge that rises above my mortal questions.
It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap . . I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care.
Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God.
And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed.
Kevin won't be surprised at all!


Anonymous said...

Yes i've often been mocked and ridiculed for my differing peronality and character. They've come only after their wonder to know how i feel and think has resulted in unpredictable responces from my part.

My number one solution: Avoid people.

I didn't want to read the story of the brother but you must know there is a difference between being oneself, crazy, and imaginative.

Why is it that you and BBC always mention GOD???

It seems like you children are still in the contemplative phase, with swirling thoughts and beliefs to soothe pertubation.

Don't think too much into it sweet Kirsten.

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

Thank you for your comment, Vinicio.
When I mention God, I maybe relate to the higher spirit of myself. But you have to talk the language people understand you know, and they call it God.
Fir me, it doesn't matter what you call it, if we only understand each other.

Hammer said...

I remember people abusing the retarded kids at school. It was sad. I had to jump in and chase off bullies from time to time. These kids were like Kevin sweet and innocent with no malice toward anyone.

We can learn some things from them.

BBC said...

Wiñai .... If you think that God is a word that is ever going to go away you are wrong. Even your ancestors believed in God in their own ways.

All we have to do to make the world a better place in the future is to accept that we are God, and live accordingly.

The present isn't what concerns me, it's already screwed. My omnipresence requires that the future be better.

And it isn't looking good. Being as God is the all, it stands to reason that he lives under a bed, and everywhere else.

Hell, just go look in a mirror.

Lexcen said...

This story reminds of a book I read(I'm kicking myself because I can't remember the title) about a mentally disabled guy who has an operation that turns him into a genius. It is a wonderful examination of how someone who is an "idiot" to the rest of us, is completely content and happy within their own universe.
I'll try to remember the book's title.

Lexcen said...

Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
It is a SF classic. Just couldn't remember the title:-)

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

Lexcen: Thank you. I will try to get hold on that book. I have study psychology and find it very interesting. Especially about the fact of the change of norm accepted around the world.
I specialized myself in art-deciphering and body-language though, which was of more interest for me at the time, as a teacher for children with different kinds of problems.

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

BBC: I hope it is not YOUR norm that represent the future humanity.
You rather represent the anger and hate in Hitler's mind and heart, without being able to do what he did, makes you even worse.

You have to learn the cosmic rule no.1: Everybody has a value equally to you, so therefor look at them, care for them and treat them as if they are a part of YOU.

BBC said...

Kirsten, are you saying that God shouldn't be angry about how the world is?

Because I sure am.

"You have to learn the cosmic rule no.1: Everybody has a value equally to you, so therefor look at them, care for them and treat them as if they are a part of YOU."

So tell the rest of them that. And good luck in doing so. I know a lot of people that are so worthless that they shouldn't even be on this planet, yet I support them.

And where did you get the idea that that is the number one rule?

But if you believe it, how much do you do to support them? Just asking.

You don't know me well enough to compare me to Hitler.

KB said...

I loved that story and WISH that I was as happy with life as Kevin is.

I really just want a simple life, but for some reason, things just keep making it more complicated??? Is it ME? Or am I constantly being tested by "The Universe"

Comparing someone to Hitler DOES seem a tad harsh......