Below is an article written by Junya Tsuzuku, the Mayor of Hida City, for the Gifu Shimbun dated February 11, 2018.
“My second son has autism with the highest level of severity. He is a seventh-grader at a special education school and is receiving help from many supporters. We found out about his disorder when he was two years old. Signs of delayed language skills were seen, and in sheer anxiety, we visited a doctor, and he was diagnosed with autism. Although he still faces many difficulties, he’s a dear child.” “As I was looking at him every day to find his good points, I happened to notice that I was doing the same thing with my co-workers in the office and started managing an organization which develops its strengths. I grew aware of the socially vulnerable, not only the disabled children, but the sick, the financially difficult people, and single-parent families, and felt strongly in wanting to help those in difficult circumstances. Around this time as a prefectural official, I had my wish come true and was able to work for the disabled children and people’s support. I devoted myself to the work supporting the severely mentally and physically disabled from a medical aspect.
“Even now as I have become mayor, the support for the socially vulnerable is the highest priority of the city administration. Working in these fields is for my own child, to be honest. If a public servant like myself could provide sufficient support, many people will be saved. It is my son who made me accomplish this, and it means he is the one who did the good in the world. I want to be an absolute doting parent on this matter.”
Certainly, the words Lord Jesus Christ heard from Heaven when baptized by John on Jordan River was “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well please.” Luke 3:22) Jesus Christ also loved each and every one of us as “dearly beloved son.” With this love, we are asked to love our neighbors conditionally as if we are absolute doting parents.
The Rt Revd Francis of Assisi Renta Nishihara