Asperger syndrome has my attention; I’ve been reading and researching and trying to understand some of its strange gifts as this way of being shapes the lives of some of the people I love.
I’m especially curious about how to help calm and reorient an Aspie child when they spiral out of control. Turns out, there is such a thing as a weighted belt that can allow someone to feel grounded and secure, even when the environment bombards them with confusing, disorienting stimuli.
Then it hit me: Aren’t we all bombarded with confusing, disorienting stimuli these days? Every single news cycle seems to spiral to some new level of crazy. How can any of us find a sense of calm? How can any of us feel secure when our world seems to be spiraling out of control?
Turns out, there is a belt for us, too.
Tucked within the little book of Ephesians in the New Testament, there is a little picture painted: People of faith suited up in our protective gear against “the cosmic powers of darkness.” Righteousness, faithfulness, peace and wholeness are pictured as thwarting the dizzying spirals of this world’s injustice, violence and malice. And right there, at the center of our “armor,” is the belt of truth.
Truth has taken a beating lately. No matter where we are on the religious or political spectrum, we all are experiencing a crisis of truth. Which facts are most accurate? Whose analysis is right? Which preachers or politicians should we trust? We all know facts can be manipulated and messages too often become a product of spin. We all are tempted to open our hearts uncritically to people we trust and automatically disregard those we have pre-judged to be untrustworthy. It’s a chaotic spiral of confusing, disorienting stimuli.
Thank goodness there is a “belt” that can surround and ground us. Thank goodness there is truth that is so much bigger than our little opinions and perspectives. Right now, during this crisis of truth throughout our society, all of us carry an extra responsibility to discern truth and to speak what is deeply, authentically and cosmically true.
And how do we do that? Whether we are operating out of religious faith or responsible citizenship, let’s all seek to surround ourselves and ground ourselves in truth. Let’s test everything we read and hear. Let’s ask probing questions and research information. Let’s Google the articles that show up in our Facebook feed and trash the ones that are suspect. Let’s all be more curious and try to understand someone else’s point of view, and then be willing to change our minds and grow.
The Rotarians ask: “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” An excellent test!
People of faith must ask, not just what is true, but also who is truth? If we call ourselves God-followers, then we too (like Christ) must seek to embody truth in every thought, word and deed. Only then can we find any real security within this chaotic world. Only then can we hope to influence our society to live according to cosmic truths of justice, mercy and love.