On the understanding

“My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding.”
~Psalm 49:3


I am cooking dinner and Rhema is crouching in the corner waiting for me to let her “help.”

Confident in her increasing ability to comprehend language, I say, “Rhema, can you bring me the cheese?”

She jumps up and stands in the middle of the kitchen.

“Can you bring me the cheese?” I point to the big refrigerator.

She opens the door. Then she looks at me helplessly, she’s so eager to help.

I nod encouragingly, “Bring me the cheese. Cheese.”

Surely she knows the word cheese. It’s her most favorite thing in the whole world.

But she just looks confused.

It seems she doesn’t understand at all.

I walk over and touch the cheese, there in its usual place, and model the word just like I’ve done a million times before: “Cheese.”

We have been operating under the assumption that Rhema hears and understands so much more than we realize. We are filled with excitement and hope as we see her language comprehension growing. And then there are discouraging moments when it hardly seems possible that she could understand a discussion about an ice show when some days she doesn’t seem to understand the word “cheese.”

I once wrote, “For Rhema, the last time she was tested she had the receptive language of a 12 month old. No matter. We have a renewed commitment to read the Word of God into her ears. I’m trusting that the “Rhema Word” will come to her and bring understanding…”

And almost every night Brandon has faithfully read the Bible aloud – while she runs laps through the house, while she plays on her iPod, while she eats, while she hums and jumps, while she burrows under pillows. We’re believing that He speaks to her heart, that the Word that is strong enough to hold everything together can handle a little autism and Landau Kleffner syndrome. We don’t always see it or hear it… sometimes we have a hard time believing it. But we act like it’s true.

And this is yet another way my girl is teaching me profound lessons in faith.

*Just tonight when I recited the verse I say to her every night, she repeated the word “mouth”. It’s been so very long since she’s done that and it was such a blessing! My apologies if you’ve seen this video a couple times over the years. I’m sure I’ve watched it a thousand times and it continues to encourage my heart greatly.

“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom. 10:8,9)

10 thoughts on “On the understanding

  1. Well that is my first time of seeing that video and not done without tears. What a blessing!!! And yes she does understand, but just like us she has days that the understanding is far greater. 🙂

  2. I love that Brandon reads the Word to Rhema even when it appears she is not listening. For we know that God is the conduit of the message anyway. And He can speak through laps being run or iPod buttons being pushed. He can speak to Rhema and she hears Him. XOXO

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