About 14 years ago, we took over guardianship of our son Johnny. He was 18 at the time and was really not able to make adult decisions for himself. This is a very difficult and emotional time for a family. That is because, by a court order, the one you are caring for will most likely be dependent upon you for the foreseeable future. You feel as though you are taking away the person’s right to be independent. When we entered into the courtroom that day, we could see that there were many other families making the same choice for their special needs children.
Johnny’s interpreter showed up and introduced herself and engaged Johnny in a conversation. This is vital for those that will be interpreting in important situations, like a courtroom. This way the interpreter can get an idea of how the client signs and their level of understanding. Johnny could get his point across when he wanted to, but there were many concepts that he couldn’t understand. That was one of the reasons we needed to become his guardians, especially with all his medical needs.
Finally they called our names and the judge was ready to hear our case. Most of the other requests for guardianship were granted quickly and without incident. We expected for our request to go just as smoothly. The judge began asking questions of us and Johnny. “Do you understand that your parents will be taking care of you John?” the Judge asked. Johnny replied in the affirmative, and the process may have taken all of 10 minutes or so.
Then the Judge asked Johnny if he had anything he would like to say. Johnny paused for a moment and thought with his hand rubbing his chin. He then pointed toward the sky (as if to say “Oh, Yes I do”). That’s when things got interesting. Johnny began to sign, but interpreter couldn’t understand what Johnny was signing, because (as he would often do) he was speaking completely out of context. Finally I had to help the interpreter out and told the judge what he was saying….”He is telling you that I have punished him by taking away his television.” I guess he was hoping the judge would either; throw me in jail or order me to return his television! The courtroom burst into laughter and the judge thanked Johnny for sharing that story with him. Johnny’s brothers loved hearing that their little brother was willing to throw Dad under the bus.
There are times in life when people will falsely accuse us or mistreat us, or even blame us for their bad choices and behavior. How we react to those times is very telling. Not about those that mistreat us, but about ourselves. The Lord Jesus was falsely accused and beaten and crucified for crimes He never committed. Yet He reacted in the most humble of ways. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:23 “ Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:” If we are going to follow Christ we need to react to our difficult situations with the same humility that He did. I’m not saying it will be easy, but we are to be light to this dark world.
Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 5:44 “ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Living our lives for the Lord can sure go against our nature! But, that is what we need to desire to do, be more like Jesus.
Being thrown under the bus is a hard thing. Especially when it is someone you love doing the throwing. But, how we react is most important, it will determine whether the situation can turn out for our good, or whether we take control, defending our self and getting even with the offender. Not all situations end in laughter like our courtroom scene. However, we need to take the higher road. Revenge may feel good for a moment, but in the long run living out our Christianity will reap rewards.
Being falsely accused and taken advantage of isn’t a pleasant thing. The only way that we can take the hurt of being mistreated is by the power of God. Let’s take the high road and learn to pray for those that take advantage of our godly nature. By the way, Johnny did get his television back that night.
To read more about Johnny and the inspiration he was. You can purchase a copy of the Johnny Ashley Story by clicking on the link below.