We were at a gathering recently, and Rhema was having a rough day. There was a big tantrum. Then lots and lots of running. She could not stay still.
I chased her into a kitchen where two women were chatting and cleaning up.
“… So hard… But their daughter Hope? Now that one is smart.”
Her voice held an It’s-such-a-pity tone.
She looked up in surprise when she saw me. I knew that they had been discussing my family, my daughters. I knew the woman meant well; she was speaking out of concern.
She just didn’t know.
(I used to think “smart” only came in one flavor, as well. When I graduated from Dartmouth, I thought I was pretty smart. Since then God has humbled me – largely through my children – and taught me about wisdom.)
Rhema raced over to a cabinet filled with glasses. I caught her before she could accidentally break a glass. Then she darted out of the kitchen, and I followed close behind.
I wanted to get the chance to say,
“Rhema is smart, too. No, she does not really speak. She’s still learning how to point. We’re still working on non-verbal imitation. Still working on object labeling. Still trying to teach her to sit and attend; to identify colors, numbers, letters, animals, etc. Still trying to teach her how to draw a straight a line.
But she is so smart, so wise.
In spite of continuous electrical activity in the brain – comparable to a radio station losing its signal over and over again – she has managed to learn.
In spite of auditory processing problems, she understands that when I say “I love you”, she is loved.
In spite of sensory integration issues, she is learning how to navigate this world and make it through a day.
In spite of a broken communication system, she is a master problem solver and comes up with resourceful ways to get the things she needs and wants… everyday.
If you could really consider all of the challenges she faces, you would be amazed, like me, at how much she has learned, how well she has done. She’s brilliant, I tell you.
Oh. And she’s a puzzle whiz.”
Anyway, that’s what I wanted to say.
This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight.” Jer 9:23-24