Friday, April 1, 2011
I saw it coming. The large steel door began to close just as my baby's dimpled hand reached toward the hinged edge for support. In that eternal split second, I thrust my hand out to rescue hers, but it was too late. I braced myself for the scream and the dreaded unknown. Scooping her up in my arms, I quickly examined the little hand. "Can you wiggle your fingers, baby?" With tears streaming, she showed me that she could. I sighed with relief. But then the swelling began. I quickly scanned my surroundings, looking for help.
This was supposed to have been a quick trip into Trader Joe's, but the restroom detour was proving to be quite unfortunate. Thankfully, an employee was immediately at our side (Avery wails are hard to ignore). "Could we please get some ice? She pinched her finger in the door." A look of concern spread across his face. "Let me see what I can do." And he was off.
I comforted Avery while Bethie strategically veered the shopping cart toward the penne pasta samples. When the employee returned, I nestled Avery into the cart and surrounded the throbbing finger with the bagged ice. But he wanted to do more. "Would she like a balloon?" he wondered. A perfect way to divert her attention from the pain. "Yes, thank you," I said. "That'd be great." Once again he left, and quickly returned with a bright pink balloon and two rolls of candy. I thanked him for his kindness, and the girls beamed over his generosity.
We quickly zipped through the aisles in an attempt to finish our shopping. Every once in a while, Avery remembered her pitiable condition and let out another wail. I kissed and soothed. (Rather loudly, I'm afraid. And with dramatic emphasis. I somehow felt it necessary to assure the gawking shoppers that she was not throwing a tantrum. She was injured: "Oh honey, I know your finger still hurts! But the ice will help the swelling.") I popped a raspberry candy into her little pink mouth, and assured her, "We're almost done." The sweetness helped, as did the bobbing balloon above her head.
I was relieved when we finally got back to the van. The swelling was down, and her finger already looked much better. Alas, the concerns began anew. "How will I get into my car seat?" she moaned. I assured her that she would still fit. "How will I get out of my car seat?" she whimpered.
Somehow, we made it home. Where she was suddenly unsure about that front porch. "How will I get up the stairs?" I inwardly smiled to think that one small finger could cause so much fear and apprehension. But, with the balloon still soaring overhead, she eventually conquered those steps.
Then, suddenly, all was forgotten. Daddy was home, and so were the boys. They would surely be impressed by her bag of ice, the balloon, two rolls of candy and a fancy bruise. Into the front door she burst, ready to tell her story.
My little Avery has unwittingly given me a precious glimpse into the heart of our heavenly Father. Like my child, we all have wounds. We all need healing. Those wounds hurt, distract and sometimes even draw attention to ourselves. But when we bring them to the Lord, realizing that He alone can minister to our hurt, we find the gentle, healing touch of a Physician whose skill greatly exceeds our expectations.
However, it doesn't stop there. Just as the employee desired to do more for Avery, so our Lord wishes to draw our attention away from ourselves and the wounds that threaten to overwhelm, by lavishing His goodness upon us. The pink balloon drew Avery's gaze away from the pain toward something bright and beautiful. The raspberry sweets on her tongue were soothing and pleasant. Likewise, our Healer tilts our chin toward the beauty of His Son and pours from His Word a sweetness that satisfies our every desire.
We may come with burdens that seem impossible and insurmountable. Yet our Father, as always, is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). And it is His delight to do so. We are created to come to Him for healing and comfort.
We may doubt. We may wonder if we'll ever get out of that car seat or if the porch steps will prove to be too difficult. But then we'll remember. Our Daddy is home. And we'll burst through the front door, ready to tell our story.
A repost from the archives in response to the SheSpeaks scholarship opportunity, generously offered over at A Holy Experience. The SheSpeaks Conference "is about women connecting the hearts of women to the heart of our Father God." Perhaps this is an area in which I might step out of my comfort zone and serve my Father. . . .