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Autistic Boy Puts Himself in the Offering Plate

(Brian McLaren observes an autistic boy sitting in church with his mother…)

He didn't have money, but when I handed him the basket, he bowed toward it. At first I thought he was reverencing the basket as if it were an icon or some other holy thing. But then he leaned forward even more, placing the basket on his knees and nearly touching his forehead into the checks, bills, and envelopes inside. His family didn't intervene, as if this were his normal routine. Then he sat up again and handed the basket to his mother.
Suddenly, it dawned upon me: he was putting himself in the offering basket, diving in head-first, if you will. And this must be what he does every week, his own self-made ritual.

And at that moment, I was awash in a baptism of grace.

Brian McLaren, "The Church and the Solution" on Patheos.com, 11/11/11
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