Recently, Rhema has started saying “Yeah.”
She, in fact, says it all the time now. According to her therapist, she is now over-using the word, and we may have to “fade” it. And of course, we would prefer “Yes” over the informal “Yeah.”
But I don’t care.
I am still absolutely BLOWN AWAY, dazzled and stupefied when I stoop down to Rhema’s level and ask her if she wants a popsicle and she looks me dead in the eyes, grins, and whispers,
I can’t really explain it. But we’ve had a conversation – an interchange of information through spoken words. A question has been asked. It has been heard and understood. Sufficient eye contact has occurred, and a spontanteous, appropriate response – an affirmation – has followed.
Thank you, Lord!!!
… But I admit, she does use the word a tad too much. Lately, any object worthy of a word label is called “Yeah.”
“Rhema, what animal is this?” (holding up a cow).
“Rhema, which crayon do you want?”
Anyone who has been involved in behavioral therapy for children with autism knows that one of the most powerful pivotal behaviors is motivation. For example, “a child’s motivation to communicate about colors will increase if they are offered specific colored candies, to be given once they attempt to ask for the candies verbally.”
We’ve always struggled to find things that are motivating enough for Rhema – something that she wanted or was interested in so badly that she would actually attempt to make a vocalization.
To date, the Beloved Popsicle is the only enduring motivator or reinforcer we have found.
Rhema can be playing contentedly and if I come over to give her a hug, she remembers that I am her Popsicle Dealer, and she urgently grabs my hand and drags me towards the freezer. Before I can even ask her if she wants a “pop” or say anything at all, Rhema knows I know what she wants, and she is already saying,
Reminds me of a Bible verse that says “For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Matt 6:8. These words were spoken just before Jesus introduced the Lord’s Prayer. I think it’s significant that before the most famous and most recited prayer in the world was taught and prayed, Jesus prefaced it with, “Your Father knows what you need even before you ask Him.”
God is my Father, and He knows better than me what I need. Again, it all comes down to trust. Just as my daughter trusts that I know she “needs” a pop, I must trust that my Father in heaven knows exactly what I need.
This begs the question, Why pray then?
C.S. Lewis says it best: “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the…the need flows from me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, but it changes me.”
I’ve asked. And I’ve knocked. And I’ve petitioned. And I’ve prayed. Now all that is left is, sweet rest (ahhh), believing that He knows my needs even before I ask.
So, Lord, my prayer today is simply one of total trust:
“Yeah. I mean, Yes!”
Visit Busy At Home at Thirstin For The Word Thursdays.