September 18, 2012

Little Rag Doll

In my flight time while away I have been reading.  I am sure that surprises no one!  One of the books I started on my last flight had a very thought provoking opening, which I would like to share with you all.  It is from "The Good Listener"  by James E. Sullivan.  The excerpt is from page 10 and 11:

Some years ago there was a splendid motion picture called The Miracle Worker.  It was the story of Helen Keller, that unfortunate woman who had lost both her sight and her hearing when she was still a young child.  That was a heartbreaking affliction for her, especially as she grew into adolescence and young womanhood.  She had a brilliant mind, but she had no way to get others to understand what she was thinking or feeling.  And others, also, were powerless to communicate with her.  It was as though she were locked alone, in a cold, dark dungeon.

As a result, she grew up like a wild animal.  She'd stuff food into her mouth and, when she disliked it, she'd spit it out.  If anyone tried to stop her, she'd flail her arms and legs in a wild tantrum and bite their hands. 

In one scene, her grandmother was feeding Helen's baby sister when Helen entered the room, holding her little rag doll.  Wildly, she started to pull the buttons from her grandmother's dress.  Her grandmother screamed for help, fearful that the baby would be hurt.  Helen's parents and older brother came running. 

Her father was overcome with grief.  "Oh Lord, " he cried out, "How long can we put with this!"  Her brother was cruel.  "She's an animal!" he shouted.  "She should be put away with the rest of the animals." 

It was Helen's mother who understood.  She kept saying, "No! Wait! Wait!" Helen is trying to tell us something.  "That's it!" That's it!" "She wants her doll to have eyes." So she took two buttons and sewed them onto the face of Helen's rag doll.  Helen reached out and felt them and the change in her was remarkable.  She held her doll close and rocked it in her arms.  And she sat down calm and peaceful as could be.

Helen had warm, motherly feelings for her "child", her little rag doll.  She wanted her doll to have the eyes that she herself could not have.  And it was so frustrating for her when she couldn't get anyone to understand that.  It's no wonder she went wild.  Her mother's sensitivity was absolutely beautiful.  In contrast to her husband and her son, she put aside her own natural assumption - that Helen was simply having a tantrum- and took on Helen's point of view instead.  She entered Helen's world, and so was able to understand what Helen was feeling.
This was such a beautiful imagery of God's love for us and how He entered our world through Christ.  We are the little blind rag doll and Christ is our high priest who can empathise with our state.  Satan is the accuser before God and Christ is there saying, "No! Wait! Wait!" God reaches out, embraces us and the change in us is remarkable. Just as Helen loves that doll and held her close, He holds us close and lovingly rocks us in his arms.  Christ finished all things and has sat down in his proper place so that we all may have the peace he left for us; the peace which is from our Father.

Have sweet dream my lovely friends!
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