Somewhere between twelve and fifteen months old, my sweet baby slipped behind a shadow and stayed there for years. She was so isolated and far away. She showed no interest in people, had little desire to be near us. She didn’t know how to relate to us; she would not even lift her head when someone entered the room. She was Rothenburg, our walled city.
For the two of us, it was a song: The Wheels on the Bus. When all else failed I could sit on the floor, pull her onto my lap, lift her hands and sing that song. All the while she avoided my eyes, I’d make her hands go round and round like the wheels and then swish, swish like the wipers. But the part in the song when I acted like the baby crying wah, wah is always when I won her. She’d look at me then, her beautiful eyes alight, and she’d smile. There were days when I’d do that song with her just to prove to myself that she was ok, would be ok, and that her mama could still find a way to her.
Slowly, over several years of hard work and myriad prayers, Rhema is learning and loving to connect with us. She shows affection!!! Sometimes it’s a bop on the head, sometimes it’s a sloppy, bordering-on-inappropriate Rhema-kiss. But she is present, participative, with us. She seems totally settled in our love.
You should see Rhema and Hope play ring around the rosy. They spin in a whirlwind of laughter and excitement and triumph. Rhema “falls down” on cue. Hope attacks her with shouts of glee and hugs and kisses, and Rhema hooks her arm around her sister’s neck. I could cry every time I watch them.
I guess that’s why I’m cherishing this verse, Eph. 2:13: “But now… ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”
It’s not impossible. When Rhema eagerly comes and sits in my lap, I know it’s not impossible. When I think about my hard, divided, rebellious heart (believe me on this) and how I’ve been forgiven all, I remember it’s not impossible. That mountain of pain and anger, that sea of lies that look like truth, that seemingly insurmountable wall of doubt and fear – it’s not impossible. That great distance is traversed in an instant by the One who died for us and lives again, the Repairer of the Breach. He comes so close with his inconceivable, unrelenting, saving love nothing can separate.
And what we were is no longer what we are. We are being made near.
Far-off one, God can make you nigh; you can be made nigh tonight. Whoever you may be, he is able still to save, but the blood must make you nigh—the blood of Jesus. Trust him. To believe is to live, and to believe means only and simply to trust, to depend upon. That is faith. Have confidence in Christ’s sacrifice, and you are saved. God grant you may be enabled to do it, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
~Charles Spurgeon, Our Glorious Transforming