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More From Bernadette Butler

January 3, 2022 by Bernadette Butler (Ohio, USA)

My devotional is about my son Melvin, who has autism. Melvin has a heart of love. I shared how his dad struggled with accepting him. Well, since the article, his dad died last year. Even facing death, Melvin’s dad refused to see him. When I had to tell Melvin that his dad passed away, Melvin asked me, “Why didn’t my dad come to see me?” My heart broke. I struggled to find words to say to relieve his pain. I told Melvin that his dad wasn’t strong enough to do it.

Every now and then Melvin brings the subject up again, but in time Melvin will understand by the Lord guiding his mind. Three years ago I wrote a book about Melvin and our journey in the world of autism. To me, Melvin is the example of how to love and to forgive. I believe the Lord entrusted me with Melvin to learn how to love, how to let go, how to forgive, and how to reconcile my past.

In the past we were not a financially poor family, but we were poor in knowing how to love. My mom suffered from being abused, and I myself was also abused. But God had a special plan for me. I have had great adventures with the Lord, from serving as a school board member, receiving California State Woman of the Year 1994, and working as a flight attendant, crossing guard, and author. I was terrified of the dark. I am not afraid of the dark any longer.

I am a work in progress, and God is not finished with me yet. I write for my church newsletter each month and for our National Conference, Advent, and Lent devotional each year. At 67 years old, I am still experiencing life with God in unexpected ways.

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I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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