We’ve had lumber stacked on our driveway for weeks. For the unending porch project.
It’s a huge draw for a little guy who has no fear and believes climbing to the highest point available is his daily goal.
Mason doesn’t hesitate. He climbs, jumps, and balances the best he can. He walks the planks with incredible speed.
Until they’re too narrow and he starts to tip. Then his dimpled cheeks change to shock, his arms flail, and he yells for me.
I grab him before he falls, never straying too far from his side because I know what he can do.
And can’t do.
He reminds me a lot of my daughter Melody. She was–and is–fearless. When she was little, she climbed everything, a feat which gave her a dimple in her cheek at the age of three.
John was in charge of the programming for a conference, and we needed to be there early for final details, a soundcheck for the emcee and the band that was playing, all the particulars that went into putting on a conference. I turned my back for just a moment–all my other kids were hanging around the band. Melody chose that moment to climb the sound equipment, which was stacked rather high. When I caught sight of her, I screamed her name. She looked up, surprised she’d been caught, and fell from the stack. She landed with her cheek on the edge of a speaker, hitting hard enough to break the skin and tear the muscle.
Giving her a new dimple.
I was grateful that was the only new thing she got. And that it was on her cheek and not her forehead.
I loved her adventuresome spirit and her willingness to push the limits of what she thought she could do. I did worry about her lack of judgment and her inability to assess her circumstances accurately.
I can be the adult version of my daughter. Pushing limits, not thinking through consequences, never being aware of the danger.
I need a hand to hold.
So many times in a day, my mantra becomes, “I’ve got this.” It’s not just confidence in the things I know I can do. It’s pride in that I can do some things well.
And I want to be recognized for those things.
Society demands we establish our value based on output and productivity. Those who push boundaries and have an entrepreneurial spirit are lauded for their wisdom, courage, and insight.
Those values don’t define the majority of people. We move through life purposefully, seeking to do our best, wanting to make a positive impact. Not something always seen or affirmed.
So I go overboard, extending myself beyond sanity, like too little peanut butter over too much bread–no flavor, just beige and blah.
God holds my hand, moving with me along those narrow boards where my balance isn’t what it should be. I often go where I shouldn’t; He sticks with me even in my bad choices. Not condoning, but never condemning.
I can count on Him being present for me.
That’s what unconditional love is all about.
A hand reach away.
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