Photo by Kerrie James

This post was inspired by my friend Judith.

My mother likes to talk about her grandchildren a lot. Even if you happen to be the mother of one of her grandchildren, you are not exempt from hearing all about them.

She was telling me about Rhema. She said things a biased grandmother would typically say: she’s amazing, she’s beautiful, she’s gentle and smart. I simply nodded. She said, “No, really. You have to take time with her, make the effort to know her. The people who are willing to do it find a treasure. God has blessed us by putting people in her life who see her.”

Crazy as it sounds I’d never really thought about it like that.

Rhema does not often look up. She may cover her face if you speak to her. She may not seem to hear you or understand what you are saying. She rocks and hums. She squeezes her eyes shut. She shrieks and giggles. She says “Hi”, “Bye”, “Yeah”, and “Cheese” when prompted. She rarely shows emotion on her face. She has no super-talent that we know of – she’s a Special Olympics gymnastics dropout. She has really good days and really bad days. She’s predictably unpredictable. She is often overlooked, occupying the periphery. She is severely affected by autism and a stubborn seizure disorder. She needs help with every part of her day. She is God’s workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made.

I share her here. But in public spaces I’ve been guilty of shielding her/us too much. I’m going to stop now because you really should know her. She’s amazing, she’s beautiful, she’s gentle and smart.

How do you get to know her? Say hello anyway. Come near and catch her soft smile. Hear her sweet song. She has this way of loving, of showing you things you’d never expect to see.

15 thoughts on “Treasure

  1. You can add these to the list: She’s a fighter. A tough survivor whose angels rejoice to be watching over her. She’s a friend to her sister. She’s got a good sense of humor. She’s a Halle Berre look alike. She’s a child who brings new friends to your life. She’s a conduit for God’s truth. What a gorgeous, gorgeous creature of God she is. Love you. Love her.

  2. I have a confession (and dear God, I hope this doesn’t sound creepy) – I have imagined unexpectedly running into you guys somewhere and being totally “star” struck. I know I would have to come and introduce myself and of course say hi to your amazing daughters. It never crossed my mind for a second that Rhema would be over-looked. There’s no doubt that she’s a treasure!

  3. you know that song “treasure” by bruno mars?
    well, now it’s stuck in my head.
    and now i will always think of rhema when it gets stuck in my head!

  4. rhema is one of the most achingly beautiful children i know. inside and out. when you’re with her, you simply can’t miss it. because even if you don’t see her beauty right away, you feel it. and it’s breathtaking.

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