As soon as I stepped in the door she saw me and her little bare feet came running. I waved “hello” and signed her name but Sophie didn’t seem to notice. This girl was on a mission. Grabbing my hand she pulled toward the playroom. There in the corner hung the hammock swing…Sophie’s happy place! When we reached the right spot she let go of my hand and spun herself around. With her back to the swing, little arms raised up so that Grandma could “plant” her inside. (For the one hundredth time!) Now my job was to keep the hammock swinging and spinning but not too fast. Once or twice an impish little face came peeking out of the swing’s canvas opening…making sure that her swing pusher was still on duty. Grandma smiled and reminisced. This little one had overcome much in her four years of life. Surgeries and infections, feeding tubes, learning to walk, twice needing stitches. Since day one deafness made Sophie’s world silent and autism erected walls and fences that needed to be climbed. One tall fence for her was learning to communicate with sign language. Progress with that moved at “tree sloth” speed…but Sophie was resourceful. She came up with her own all-purpose sign…expressing almost every feeling or desire by tapping the back of her hand to her mouth. It was always a guessing game to know what Sophie’s sign meant.
Finally the swing slowed to a gentle rock and Grandma’s hand reached inside searching for a tummy to tickle…but Sophie had other plans for that tickling hand! She grabbed it with both of hers and pulled it toward her mouth…gently tapping the back of my hand to her lips and then holding it there. This was NEW! My eyes filled with tears as I realized the significance of that moment. Sophie signed and there was no guessing what she said…she spoke LOVE and her grandmother’s heart heard it loud and clear!!!
…signs of love expressed with hands…one stands out from all the rest as the most significant moment in history. It happened long ago on a rocky hill called Calvary. It was there that the gentlest of hands were not tapped, but pierced with cruel spikes and fastened to a cross. The perfect sacrifice bled and died as the sun refused to shine…the ground shook as the debt we sinners owed to a just God was paid–in-full!!! There is no guessing what our Lord did for us that day. Using His hands our Savior spoke LOVE and His Father’s heart heard it loud and clear!!! Now the walls and fences separating us from our Heavenly Father are gone. Now the territory of heaven is marked “reserved” for those who never deserved to be there!
I see the signs and I believe that it may be one day soon that our Savior Jesus will wave “hello” and call our name and even ears that were deaf will hear it…then those beautiful, scarred hands will wipe the tears from our eyes….and we will be home.