My son is weird.
It isn't because he has Aspergers. Autism doesn't make him weird- it makes him one really awesome individual!
No- My son is weird because he chooses the oddest people to look up to.
For instance, my son's favorite character is Darth Vader.
It started out as an interest. He loves Star Wars (yes, even the 'prequels'), and I thought for sure he'd want to emulate Luke Skywalker, or Obi-wan, or I could even accept the snarky Han Solo; but a few years ago when he wanted to dress up for a Star Wars party, he chose Darth Vader.
I'm a Christian. He's a Christian. Our whole family is Christian. So why is my son choosing to be the ultimate Star Wars bad guy? The more I protested, the more he wanted to be Vader. I sighed. Maybe this was a teen rebellion thing.
At first he tried to appease me by being a regular old Jedi dressed in black. He told me he was still a good guy- after all Anakin was a good guy in the beginning- so he was a good guy that wore black, with fifteen light sabers attached to his person.
Yes, the picture of peace and serenity was my son. Egad.
Soon he started collecting Darth Vader gear. The helmet. the cape. the gloves. I'd had enough. it was time to put my foot down.
"Son, don't you know that Vader is the bad guy? Why on God's green earth do you want to be the bad guy? He's done so much evil!"
He looked at me, surprised. "Mom, don't you get it? Vader did a lot of bad stuff, but in the end, he repented, was forgiven and allowed to go to heaven with his buddy Obi-wan. No matter how bad he was, he was still redeemable! That's why I like him- Darth Vader reminds me that if I do anything wrong, I can always repent and God will forgive me."
I stood there, dumbfounded. He was right.
I can't stand it when my kids are smarter than me. Or at least spiritually deeper than me. I never gave Darth Vader credit for repenting- but my son saw right through him, and saw past the evil deeds to a character that was redeemable.
My son is amazing.
I'm still not overly thrilled that he likes the bad guy, but I understand his perspective. Maybe that's why God gave me a child with Aspergers- Aspies are great at thinking outside of the box and seeing things other people just don't see.
God is amazing.
Sometimes we need reminding that no matter how horrible we think we are, we're still redeemable. Darth isn't the only person wearing a black cape over his heart. Everyone is guilty of one sin or another, and our capes are in all shades of darkness.
My son taught me an important lesson that day- One I've never forgotten. No matter how dark the cape we wear, God will always be there to wash us whiter than snow- if we repent.
Who knew my son, Darth Vader, would teach me such an awesome lesson about God?