Jared and I have this thing where we read to each other – as in out loud. It started in our first place when we didn’t have a tv for a while (this is completely shocking if you know me now!). Over the years, we’ve read many books in a pretty big variety. Everything from Kahlil Gibran, to Roald Dahl, to S.M’s Twilight (okay, maybe that one more than once), to Yann Martel and more than a few books on autism.
One day a couple years ago we thought, “Hey, lets read the Bible all the way through!” It seemed like a pretty decent challenge. I think we got held up somewhere around Chronicles in the Old Testament when the kids’ therapies and scheduling got crazy. Let’s face it, that’s a lot of ground to cover. And the Old Testament is not would I would call a light read.
It’s funny because during that time, when we had moved on to other books, Emma would sometimes bring the Bible over to us or open it up. I thought maybe she just liked the leather cover or touching the soft thin pages.
We never really knew how much Emma listened to us. Many times she would seem occupied with something else or leave the room altogether. How could I have known that all that time she really was listening to us?
When she began communicating, it became clear to me almost immediately that this child had a passion for God. And she seems to want to share about it. When I asked her about the Bible, she spelled out that “yes” she had been listening and liked it when we read.
Emma is all about pretending to be a teacher now. Now I can spot the bus and class more clearly since she’s let me in on her pretend “paper play” world. The other day, I noticed that she was carrying the Bible around with her stuffed animals. When I held up the letterboard to her later on that day she reached out to spell unprompted…
Emma: I am reading the bible to my class
Me: “You are?! Why?”
Emma: It helps to help them reach into their hearts
Me: “Oh, Emma! That is such a beautiful way to put it.”
Emma: You taught me to think in God’s love
This child says things that I’ve never heard said. I never thought of “thinking in God’s love” before. So simple and so profound. It brought me to tears.
Me: “I did?! Are you glad?”
Me: “I”m so happy.”
Emma: me too
I really can’t express what Emma’s words have meant to me. It’s been much more than I would’ve expected. I never really considered that the many times I read excerpts from the Bible, or said bedtime prayers, and even maybe the occasional grace at dinner, that she was listening so deeply to those words. I’m not really sure that I was listening half the time. Nor did I always believe what I was saying when I told her that God was with her always.
She was listening and she believed, even when I did not. Those were words she took to heart.
I know I’ve tried to teach her many things over the years, but she is teaching me so much more.
So, needless to say, we’re back to reading the Good Book.
The other day, after reading the Psalms, Emma reached out to the letterboard:
Emma: I lose myself in the Bible
I love her choice of words.
Emma’s favorite Psalm is 139….