Monday, April 1, 2013
Entitled to Miracles
When my son James was growing up, he was in special education because of his autism. Every year there was a meeting to develop his IEP (Individual Education Plan). This document set out his needs and what services would be provided to meet his needs for the following year. The meeting was attended by his teachers, other service providers, a representative from the school district, and me.
I generally had a very good working relationship with everyone involved. I made sure I understood the regulations so that I could justify the services I asked for. I had a genuine and deep respect for his teachers and providers. In fact, I’m still friends with several of them. I knew that they were committed to doing their best for all the children they served. I also knew that they did not have adequate funds and resources to do all that was needed.
One year, as I was walking into the room for the IEP meeting, the speech pathologist approached me. She was frowning, and huffed at me in exasperation and with an accusatory tone, “Do you know that your son gets more services than any child in Portland Public Schools?”
I looked at her for a moment, and then replied without apology, “He doesn’t get any more than what he is entitled to by law. My job is to see that he gets no less.”
I think grace is like that. I believe that our natural state is one of joy and peace and harmony. We don’t earn it or deserve it any more than James had to earn the services he got. The law provided that he was entitled to them simply by virtue of who he was. Likewise, we are entitled, as A Course in Miracles teaches, to miracles, not because of something that singles any one of us out or makes any of us more special than others, but because we are who we are, children of the universe, fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Each and every one of us, equally.
The Dalai Lama speaks of having this precious life. And we do. We are precious and beloved, without exception. Love is our birthright because it is what we are made of. We exist in eternal grace. We can deny it or block it, but we can’t change it. If anyone (including yourself) suggests that we are not worthy of this blessing, we can respond with calm assurance that we claim only what we are all entitled to, nothing less.
Man loves because he is Love. He seeks Joy, for he is Joy. He thirsts for God for he is composed of God and he cannot exist without Him. ~Sathya Sai Baba
related posts: Show Me the Miracles!; You Can Go Home Again
PS--Several readers have voiced some confusion in the comments about the connection I was making between my son's IEP situation and miracles or grace. I have added some further explanation of the connection I was trying to make in my responses below, especially the one to "Dangerous Linda." Please take a look if you are interested. Thank you .