Sunday, October 18, 2015


Yesterday, Alex got one of those letters. Usually, I throw them away and don’t even bother to open them.  When they come from credit card companies who eagerly but unwittingly offer him a credit line, I shred them. Some of them claim to know that he surely has debt after college and probably needs to buy a car. I suppose that must be true for most young men his age. However, autism derailed his plans for college, and I, as his mother and personal assistant, handle all his correspondence. What should be a rite of passage for a twenty-three-year-old becomes a reminder that Alex’s life is not typical.

“Dear Alex, So how long has it been? Six months? A year? Three years?”

Actually, it’s been nearly twenty years since he received a diagnosis of autism, but I don’t think that’s what you’re asking him.

“When it comes to taking care of your home, you have enough to worry about. Mortgage payments, repairs, upgrades, cleaning the gutters––your home insurance is just as important to maintain. Over time, changes like additions, renovations, or even major purchases can impact your insurance needs. Alex, let’s review your policy together to make sure your coverage doesn’t have gaps.”

Don’t worry about Alex because he doesn’t worry about any of those things. Oh, and he doesn’t need homeowner’s insurance because he lives with his parents.

“It may take a disaster to show many homeowners just how big the gaps in their coverage are, and by then it’s too late. A fire, a violent storm, a thief in the night––major losses can mean thousands in out-of-pocket costs you didn’t plan on.”

Now you’re talking! We never planned on autism, and we’ve spent thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. However, insurance refused to pay for most of those.
“Alex, call me or email me today so together, I can take a closer look at your policy­­––your coverage, limits, and deductibles––to help you choose the coverage you want to prepare for what might lie ahead. So call me today and let’s get started!”

That may be a problem. Alex isn’t allowed to use the phone because he thought it was entertaining to call 911 when he was younger to see what would happen. Also, we took away his email privileges as a nine-year-old when he started contacting automobile dealers about cars he liked through their online ads. As I explained to one car salesman who called asking for him, Alex was too young to drive. Of course, now he’s old enough, but he still can’t drive. Also, I’m wondering as his mother, how did you get his name and address in the first place?

Although these sales pitch letters from credit card companies and insurance companies remind me what Alex should be doing at his age and make me feel a bit wistful that he is not living the life he could be living because of autism, they also remind me that his life is blessedly simple. He is like the birds and the lilies of the field Jesus describes in the Gospels, never worrying about the things in everyday life that create stress for most people: paying off college loans, paying for cars and houses or making sure they are protected by insurance from disasters small and large that might threaten these possessions.

As Alex’s personal assistant who makes all of his phone calls and handles all of his correspondence, I am tempted to respond to the nice insurance agent who seems genuine in wanting to help ease his mind about the worries of the adult world he has recently entered.

Dear Angela, I’m not certain how you obtained Alex’s name and address, but I feel you should know that he is an adult with autism who does not have a car or a house to insure because he lacks the communication and social skills needed to hold a job. In fact, his language limitations prevent him from speaking with you directly, as he relies upon his dad and I to speak for him. Unfortunately, your company cannot provide the real coverage we need “to prepare for what might lie ahead.”

Thankfully, Alex has taught us that the only insurance we truly need in life is our faith. No matter what “disaster” comes in life––“a fire, a violent storm, a thief in the night” or even autism––God will always take care of us and provide us with what we need. Moreover, God offers “24/7 Protection” and “Personalized attention” as you claim to do, and He offers even greater savings than you tout.

While we appreciate your offer to help Alex, his dad and I can handle the everyday tasks like paying the bills and cleaning the gutters. The rest we entrust to God, whom Alex trusts wholeheartedly to see him through life and to ease any worries that might arise. Right now his biggest concern is whether the Chicago Cubs can beat the New York Mets so that they can finally go to the World Series. I doubt you can help him with that, so feel free to remove him from your mailing list. Sincerely, Alex’s mom

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life––whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

…Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

These things dominate the thoughts of the unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:25-28, 30, 32-33

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