I advocate. I am an Advocate. Both a verb and a noun, advocate means to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly or as a noun it is a person who does these things. I am an Advocate for my son Stephen. It is not always been easy; it is not always fun; and it can be very frustrating and discouraging. Trenee is an Advocate for Stephen too. We have lost sleep. We have filed hearing requests. We have taken time off work. It is a full-time job. As a parent it is my job—and it is a job I am passionate about. If we don’t argue for, speak for, or write for Stephen, who will? My passion, desire and fierceness in advocating for Stephen comes out of a deep heart-felt love for him. I love him even when I don’t like what he does. I love him even when it is hard to love him. I love him even when I don’t think I like him, when I am frustrated with him, with his behavior and the pain he causes me.
Stephen’s class, a motley collection of special needs students ranging from freshman to twenty-one year olds, similarly have or need advocates. Some do not have them. Some have been placed in group homes or foster-care. I am thankful that some of my advocacy benefits them. I am sad that, according to some of the staff in his classroom, some of Stephen’s classmates do not have someone who advocates as fiercely for them. A fierceness that is based on unconditional love.
As Christians we have an advocate. Someone whose fierce love for us produced His desire to sacrifice for us. Jesus has given so much as an advocate that all I do for Stephen pales in comparison. John explains that He wrote his letters so that the Christians would know “we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2) We have an advocate! We have an advocate that loves us. We are not foster children. We have not been sent to s group home. We have not been given up on. We are loved and Jesus, Himself, advocates for us with our Heavenly Father—even when we do things He doesn’t like, when our behaviors, our attitudes, our choices frustrate Him. Even so, He loves us and advocates for us