Without A Word: The Influence of A Non-Verbal Child
By Evelyn Mann
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Esther was a beautiful woman. She found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. (Esther 2:15b). She was chosen to become the Queen because the King loved her. (Esther 2:17) What influence did Esther have over King Xerxes I? When Esther found out about a plot to kill her people, she risked her life by banking on her influence over the king.
She entered into the court of the king without being called and waited for the king’s scepter to be raised toward her indicating the king was pleased with her. If he did not extend the scepter, she would be put to death. The King sees his Queen, finds favor in his sight and he holds out the golden scepter, sparing her life.
Chances are you won’t be risking your life using your influence but how do you view your own significance? Maybe you are a stay at home mom raising a child. You rarely get out of the house and your work extends to laundry, cooking and dishes. No social life to speak of. Does your life have meaning to others in an impactful way?
I confess to wondering about my influence in the world. I am a special needs mom of a beautiful nine year old. As a stay at home mom, most times my influence extends only to my husband and son. We go to the store, occasionally eat out and attend church once a week.
Where is my influence, I wonder? In raising my child? My non-verbal child will never be the next president of the United States or a brain surgeon. Those who know me will say I’m a very positive person so these thoughts might be a surprise. But, let’s be honest, haven’t we all had similar conversations with ourselves?
Then something happens. It could be as simple as the brilliant smile my son flashes. Or something more profound.
While visiting a local restaurant recently, the waitress sat us a booth. As we passed another table, Samuel’s eyes mesmerize a tall blonde eating her meal. After we finished our meal, I asked to pay the tab and was informed the bill had already been paid. Seeing my surprise, the waitress pointed to the blonde. I went to her table and thanked her for the kindness. She proceeded to tell me how Samuel’s eyes captivated her as we passed her table. We exchanged emails.
I received an email from her the next day. “I saw everything that was important in his eyes when he first looked at me and I have never experienced anything like that in my 48 years. I was supposed to meet Samuel and when he left, I had something from him….courage. I have been afraid of making changes, taking initiatives, loving, and the list goes on. I was up all night thinking about what you had said to me and reflecting on the look I received from Samuel. It may sound a little nutty, but he is the angel I desperately needed to meet.”
It seems my son has influence without saying a word. And through raising him, I do as well. So why then do we doubt? Even if we think our lives don’t have impact, the truth is we are valuable to God.