- Tina Samples
The Unfolding of Words
Updated: Oct 21, 2022
Lena laughed and her voice bellowed down the hall creating a domino effect of laughter. Her entire body jiggled like a bowl of jello. She certainly knew how to laugh. Lena was a senior in high school with a round body and big rosy cheeks. Her smile covered her full face so much that her eyes almost disappeared. She brought me great joy.
As a Music Therapist, working with Lena was difficult because she could not speak. She rarely showed any eye contact and would often jerk away from people and things. If someone approached her, she drew her arms up to her side, turned her head and body away, and then let out a very strong vocal cry that could be heard throughout the entire building. She sounded like an injured bird.
Lena had no way of communicating with anyone except through the gestures she made up and a few signs she learned from sign language. I recognized something in Lena that perhaps others could not see. Deep down, Lena was a bright student and I felt certain she could achieve the task of learning to use a communication board.
After addressing her issue with a committee, teachers introduced her to the Mayer Johnson Communication Board system. In today’s world, children with limited abilities have wonderful technology to help them communicate with others. The school immediately took action and before long installed a system for Lena. Not only did they install it at the high school, but at other schools as well. So began our task of opening up a completely new world for Lena. That was years ago and now we have even better devices for kids in need.
Over time Lena learned to communicate with others in a fresh new way. Her eyes were opened and she progressed in understanding the language of a communication board. The teachers said, “We wish we knew about this sooner.” They spoke of how they could imagine the things Lena could have learned had they used that system before her senior year.
One day Lena approached me, tugged on my shirt, and pointed to a symbol on the board; something she’d never done before this moment. We communicated that day and I watched Lena beam beneath her new knowledge. Lena spoke. I couldn’t hear her voice but heard her heart.
Sometimes when I open the Bible and read a passage I say, “That is exactly how I feel.” The words are clear and penetrate my heart. I can’t hear His voice, but He speaks. And like Lena with her communication board, God uses His to speak to me. I hear Him in the words. I hear Him in silence. I feel His expressions through the stories. I feel His love in the passages.
He speaks. I boast, “Truly Lord, ‘The unfolding of your words gives light: it gives understanding to the simple.’” (Psalm 119: 130)
Let me challenge you to dive into the Bible. Allow God's truths to push the darkness away and bring light into your life.