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  • Sarah Raad

Articulation

God knows what I am trying to say, and He loves me for it…

Our Father (Jen Norton)

When my daughter was very young she had some trouble with her articulation, where she would replace one sound with another when she was speaking. For example, she would replace “F” with “S” and “R” with “D” and so on. Now, at first these little errors were sort of cute, but as time wore on, they became quite frustrating for her. And at first, I stoically tried ignoring the issue for a while, but eventually I had to face facts – the girl needed some speech therapy! And I realised this when her much older cousin could simply not understand that when my daughter was offering him “sood” she was really talking about “food”. And so, just as we were finishing her speech therapy for her stuttering, and before she started kindergarten, we did some speech therapy to correct my daughter’s articulation.


It was a necessary intervention!


One of the first questions that the speech therapist asked, when assessing the problem areas in my daughter’s speech, was whether I – as her mother and primary carer – could understand her speech even with the problems in her articulation. And though I could understand my daughter’s speech, the reason that I was seeking speech therapy for her was because others – including her father who spent less time with her as he worked during the day while she was at home with me – could not!

And I was thinking about my daughter’s problems with articulation as I was saying my prayers the other day… You see, so often when I pray, I do not make any sense at all.

In fact, most of the time I am sure that I am praying all wrong… I mutter and mumble, tossing between formal prayer, informal prayer, mental prayer and contemplative prayer, bouncing around like a beach ball in the ocean – and with about as much conscious direction. There is little structure in what I am doing because I have little discipline of mind, and so – very often, though I try my best – I feel like a little child with an impediment in my speech.


And yet, though I continue to try to improve, I am not worried about this weakness in me because I remember my daughter and I remember her speech. And when nobody else in the world could understand what she was trying to say, I – as her mother – could…


And in this way, I imagine the INFINITE power of my Heavenly Father – my Dad, my Daddy – who formed me in my mother’s womb. With His power and His wisdom and His knowledge, my Heavenly Father – King of Endless Glory – knows me better than I know myself. He knows what I want and what I need. And – even more than that – He knows what I am trying to say, and He loves me for it…


Because He sees the weakness of my miserable soul and in His Infinite Compassion and Majesty, He listens to my faltering prayers, as I listened to my little girl…


Because for God – I am the little girl now, I am just His little girl – and for that reason He keeps me safe…


For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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