Always Being There
My family and I spent the weekend at the pool.
At first, she wouldn’t step in the water at all. Overwhelmed by the splashes and screams and slides.
I grabbed her hand and gently led her in. First up to her ankles and then her knees. The water had a slight chill. Cool enough to be comfortable, but easy to get used to.
We made our way into the pool. The water was only 18 inches deep, but to her it must have seemed like an ocean. In the same way our bodies become accustomed to the temperature of the water, she acclimates to her fear.
Photo by Jérôme Decq (Creative Commons)
Her confidence precedes that moment every father wishes he could fight off. If only I could find a way to stop time.
She lets go of my hand.
The moment is brief. Perhaps a second. Nobody else in the pool even notices. But in my heart it lasts forever. This letting go.
She is only 4 feet from me, but it feels like miles. This distance.
A Time of Need
She notices the slide and grabs my hand once again. Her confidence gone as we face something new. She needs me again.
We climb the stairs up to the top. She stares down the slide. Timid. Uncertain. I reassure her, and with a little nudge, down she goes. Into her mother’s waiting arms..
Her face is covered with a smile. Laughter erupts from her body, finding its birth in the deepest part of her soul. Blue eyes shining like stars in the moonlit night.
I am like the candy bar left in a pocket on a hot summer day. I completely melt.
We rush off to do it again. I reach out to help, but she refuses me with a wave of her hand. She’s got this.
Once she arrives at the stairs, though, she looks back for me. I am already there. Ready for her to need me again. She reaches out and I grab her hand. Once she rediscovers her sense of security, she lets go and runs to the slide.
I am Always There
She never asks me to be there. She doesn’t even look for me most of the time. But when she needs help, I am there.
Though she doesn’t notice, I have always been there. I know when she needs help before she even asks. I know that she needs help even when she hasn’t figured it out yet.
My being there has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with me. I love her. And even though she lets go of my hand, I refuse to let go of her with my heart.
When she is frightened and overwhelmed, all she has to do is hold out her hand and I will take it. I will help her get to the top of the stairs again.
Jesus is Always There
Our day at the pool reminds me of Jesus. I am the small child too timid to wade in. He is there to help me.
Once I grow accustomed to the splashes and the cold wetness, I stop looking for him. I understand that I always need him. But I stop looking. I stop holding his hand. All I can think about is the water and the slide and the fun.
When I get to the stairs again, the scary part of my story, I find myself looking back. He is there to help me.
I reach out and he takes hold of my hand. He knows exactly what I need. He knows me and sees me.
His being there has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with him. He loves me. And though I let go of him, he refuses to let go of my heart.
I reach out, grab his hand, and then quickly let go, running to the next water slide. And as I go down, experiencing his good gifts to me, the joy on my face can only be matched by the love in his heart.
Have you found Jesus to always be there? Leave a comment.