A Fool in Focus
It’s cringe worthy really. The only thing standing between your hungry little body and lunch is the simple act of putting on your shoes and walking to the car for the 7 minute drive home (for which I have lovingly provided a snack so your tummy won’t rumble too much).
But instead, we are sitting on the floor while you thrash about like an overly emotional velociraptor who’s just had their nest invaded because the pink shoes you chose this morning when we left the house aren’t the blue shoes you want to wear now.
And as I sit here and hold your little, angry body against mine until you calm down, for the THIRD time this morning, I’m struck with this image of our heavenly Father holding us in much the same way.
Shoes might seem like an arbitrary parental decision in July. But when you realize that mom is 22 weeks pregnant with pretty intense sciatic pain, and carrying a 30 pound toddler to the car might be enough to incapacitate her later in the day; that the pavement is hot and will be uncomfortable on little feet; and that obedience is a trait worth teaching even in difficult moments, it’s a parental decision that begins to make sense. However, when you’re two, the heinous crime of wrong shoe color is enough to cloud what little judgment you might possess already. All she knows is that someone (me) is holding her back from pursuing her current desire (wearing blue shoes or none at all) and all of her anger at that blocked goal is directed right at me.
And I just have to stop and wonder….that job I didn’t get, that relationship that didn’t pan out, that life goal that I’ve waited, and waited, and waited to be able to pursue fully….if all of these blocked goals that left me feeling like God didn’t see, didn’t care, didn’t have my best interest at heart, were really his strong arms protecting me from the dangers that were just out of focus. From His divine vantage point, the picture was clear, but all I could see through my tear-blurred eyes was disappointment. How often has He had to say the words I spoke over my daughter this morning?
“I’ll hold you right here until you calm down. I love you. I don’t want your feet to get burned. It’s ok if you don’t like it or understand it, I need you to trust me, because I’m doing what’s best for you.”
Toddler tantrums have definitely increased my prayers for patience, grace, strength, and calm, but I’m hoping that they also increase my expressions of trust, of submission to my heavenly Father who will hold me tenderly even while I make an utter fool of myself.