L. and I have been reading through 'The Path to Confession' (published by Unexpected Joy Press) for our catechism. The Romans 12 passage came up. Usually I think of 'weep[ing] with those who weep' as practicing active listening when someone is sad. But the exhortation really hit home last night. A friend's son has Asperger's and they have decided they need to put him on medication. I have been mourning with her. For a mother not to be able to 'make it better' leaves a feeling of failure. To have to medicate ones otherwise healthy child goes against the desire to accept him for 'who he is'.
Yet, I can stand in solidarity with her at the foot of the Cross.
At the same time, the truth is that her son is not fundamentally someone with Asperger's, any more than someone is at their core a lawyer or smart or pretty. I put on an identity. 'Now we see as in a mirror darkly, then we shall see face to face.' My face which will be before the Lord is my soul which speaks directly to the Lord, which can stand in His presence even now in prayer. This is a mystery. But when my daughter with Down Syndrome loves people, forgives them, accepts them, I recognize it is her soul that is perceiving God's presence in another - not mediated through words or any thing else.
So I can rejoice with my friend when she rejoices, in the love her son has for the Lord, which is all we really want for our children.