Far-off one

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

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14 thoughts on “Far-off one

  1. <3 Love this post. It also made me think of Corrie Ten Boom's quote, something to the effect of…"There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still."
    Yes, He calls us to himself, but also meets us where we are and little by little He makes all things new…

  2. I am so happy that Rhema is coming into your world with you and your family. I do believe that you and your husband and, especially, Hope are the best therapists where Rhema is concerned. Thank you for sharing God’s love no matter what your situation is. Wish I could hug you!

  3. What a beautiful and powerful reminder of God’s ever pursuing love!! To think that the God of the universe gives us an opportunity to draw near to Him, to be intimately close to Him, by His precious son’s sacrifice is so amazingly humbling.
    I am rejoicing with you as you watch your girl’s connect; watch Rhema connect to the world around her. We serve an AWESOME God!

  4. ‘That great distance is traversed in an instant by the One who died for us and lives again, the Repairer of the Breach.’ Yes. Amazing and beautiful, His love. Your Rhema coming close is a piece of that beauty.

  5. I love Rhema and Hope through my far-off too-easily forgotten friendship and love for you and Brandon. I confess to years of impatience with God, as I’m sure you know all too well. It was once like … “Okay, Lord, Rhema is autistic. That’s a mountain to climb. But nothing’s too great for you. Climb it! HEAL HER, Lord!” Year after year it’s been like … “Not yet, eh?” I’ve said to countless others … “In God’s time, not yours.” But I never really mean it. I rush God all the time. I’ve rushed Him to cure Rhema. But God can be stubborn. :-)

  6. Oh… I’m with you. It was “If you’re happy and you know it” with us. He lost words… just as you so eloquently put it, he “slipped behind a shadow”. And yet again, Ryan teaches me something about God. He’s bringing me near. I’m far off. Thank you so much for sharing this. :-)

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