We had our yearly barbecue Saturday. Close to a hundred people—all ages—attended.
What an outrageously fun time.
It was supposed to rain all day, which would have put a damper on water slides, outdoor eating and creative play space for close to fifty kids.
Observation–kids range in fear capacity from hesitant and risk resistant to courageous and risk pursuant. Some didn’t even want to try the slides, while others barreled down them with abandon.
Parents congregated on the grass around the slides, watchful yet conversant. It was a safe environment—as safe as it can be with two giant water slides. The screams of those going down were gleeful.
Until they weren’t.
I was called outside to help a parent whose son had been injured. Folks had been going up and down for close to three hours, and there hadn’t been any incident.
Then there was one.
Kids were rushing up the stairs on the side of the slides, with so many on at one time that this huge monstrosity threatened to tip with their weight. Some parents tried to regulate, but limiting fun isn’t in the DNA of most kids.
A young boy found himself at the end of a wayward elbow. It was an accident, but he got knocked in the head at precisely the right place with exactly the correct angle of the elbow to split the skin open just above his forehead. And it bled. A lot.
This young man was quite brave. It’s never encouraging to put your hand to your head and pull away with it covered in blood. His white-blonde hair magnified the massive amount of red.
His mom took him to a local miniER where they super-glued his wound together. A lot less painful than stitches. They came back to the barbecue, and he hung out with his friends for the duration.
I don’t believe he went back down the water slides.
No matter how much I try to cover my bases and make sure everything has been provided for or dealt with, I’ve no control over what happens. Even having a parent on every step of that slide wouldn’t have prevented that accident. Nobody is great enough, good enough, powerful enough to deal with all the factors that can go wrong on any given day.
All-powerful, ever-present, all-knowing.
Could He prevent such accidents? Sure. If we all wanted to live like puppets on strings.
In light of His great love, He gives us the options of choosing or refusing that love.
Accidents will happen. Some much worse. Loss and pain are part of life.
Walking with the One who holds my future makes my present feel more secure. Storms will come, but He weathers them with me.
There really is no fear in that kind of love.