As a mother I love to show my children things: how to hum to a snail or do cartwheels or play thumb wars. For Rhema, the lack of joint attention and eye contact and my inability to verbally explain things to her has made this simple pleasure difficult. I long to introduce her to many of the things I enjoyed as a kid. But, like her mama she likes to do things her way. Often, if I try to join her in her play and demonstrate how to manipulate a toy or object she turns away or runs away.
The enthusiasm and eagerness in the eyes of a child seeing a new trick or small wonder, I often miss that in Rhema. The other day at the park I felt such frustration over this – I’d hoped to teach her the joy of the frisbee. Instead she cowered under a park bench and covered her face. No amount of coaxing could bring her out.
Defeated, I sat down on the ground and waited for her mood – or my mood – to change. There we sat, waiting and waiting and waiting.
Then I watched an ant determinedly drag a dead insect twice its size through the dirt. It was captivating. What was that verse about the ant? I remembered and laughed: “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wise.”
I studied a summer leaf the way Rhema would study it, taking in its deep colors and every striation and pointy edge, even the decay made it beautiful. The leaf Maker finally had my attention. I looked up and let the splendor of the sun fading into the ocean still my soul. Be still and know that I am God.
I was devastated by the awesome presence of God all around and the beauty of creation on display. How had I not seen and not known? The earth and everything in it an exhibition of His glory, a daily proclamation of His everywhere-love for us, for all He has made.
Rhema, eyes closed, tapped her fingers in the dirt along to the song of the birds.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us… 1 Jn 3:1
Keep showing us, Lord. Don’t let us turn away. We need to not miss this.