Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good books

I'm reading Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin. I hadn't heard of Ms. Grandin until about a year ago. I was working as a substitute teacher's aide with severely disabled elementary school students. My supervisor, the director of the program, recommended I read her books to learn more about autism. Ms. Grandin is autistic and is an icon in the field of animal welfare. This is the second book of hers I have read. Toward the end of this book she speaks of her own religious beliefs. In explaining how she feels about her designing "one of the world's most efficient killing machines" she explains how most people have become detached from the "natural cycle of birth and death." She says "They do not realize that for one living thing to survive, another living thing must die." This struck me on two levels. First, this is absolutely true. Personally, I am rarely exposed to birth and death and so my perception and understanding of it is a bit skewed. It's difficult for me to think of all the animals who have died for me to eat and live. Second, and more profoundly, it made me think of Jesus Christ, my savior. In a very literal sense he died that I may live. His atoning blood in Gethsemane made it possible for my sins to be forgiven and to live with my Father in Heaven when I die. His "giving up the ghost" and dieing on the cross made it possible for my spirit and body to be rejoined after I die.

I am constantly being reminded in this life of all the many symbols there are that point to a Father in Heaven and a Savior.

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