She sat in the back and I watched her. Quiet, serious, alone. While the other children pressed close to my rocking chair longing to get closer to me, she sat in the motionless. Watching. What made her so detached from the other students? Sitting there. Alone. I wondered.
My heart went out to her while the others clamored for attention. It wasn’t that I didn’t care about them. I did. Most definitely. But my heart was unusually drawn to this quiet one who sat apart from the others. It was like she was in her own world. A world the others did not share. But I wanted to share it with her. I longed to let her know I cared.
That was how it all began. Day after day I’d look for ways to draw her in and encourage her. But nothing seemed to help. Her pinched little face just stared back at me seemingly unmoved by my attempts. Fall turned to winter and every day at circle time she’d choose to sit in the back while the others eagerly pressed toward me.
When I spoke my eyes would sweep the whole class lingering just a second longer on her. As I read a story I’d hold the colorful pages for all to see making sure to let it stay a little longer so she could see. The other wiggly boys and girls chatted and giggled oblivious to their classmate in the back. Miss Brani this. Miss Brani that. I enjoyed their enthusiasm and energy. But that one little girl held my heart.
It was late Spring that year though that I noticed a change. I can’t quite remember what it was at first. A slight smile maybe. But one day I happened to be reading a story and I saw her move forward to better look at the pictures. Her eyes shone with interest. As I read about this invisible string that connects everyone no matter where they are it was as if I had struck gold. Something, something in the story touched her.
Over the last few weeks of school this precious child had a remarkable transformation. She not only chose to sit closer to me during reading circle time but she also began to quietly talk with me. All those days and weeks of patiently caring for her paid off. She began to come out of her silent shell and join the class.
Why did I care about this little girl who was so withdrawn? Because I was once her and I know all too well how difficult it can be for some to connect with others. But our Lord sees and knows. His heart of love reaches out to the most withdrawn of us and gently draws us into His fold. He sees what others can’t. He knows what others don’t. He sees and deeply cares. Patiently He reveals that you are important to Him. And He won’t rest until you see His heart. He’s waiting for you.