Though the story is from a few years ago, this picture was taken this summer of our quick stepping girl
A few years ago, our oldest daughter was headed out on a field trip to the insectarium. Yes, the bug house. I mean what more fun could be had by a giggly group of first graders? She was excited, happy and even, might I say, giddy. It was raining, but she looked so sweet in an adorable blouse my mom had gotten for her and a cute pair of capris that had hung several years waiting to be the right size for her.
We were on time. Hannah, our younger daughter, was babbling about the rain and old men and bumping heads, and such. Em had one thing on her mind...getting to the bugs. Perhaps, you assume that Emily is graceful as a swan and just as ladylike as she can be. Not so this morning. As we headed up the walkway for school, I warned Emily three separate times that the ground was slick and to please stop running. Well, as we can all figure by this point, she skidded, her bookbag fell to her side tripping her and down she went, on her belly, flat...in a huge puddle.
Now, I had a choice. I felt my face redden with anger, while my heart ached for her. I could tell by the look on her face, she was not only sorry, but she was okay and not injured, with the possible exception of her ego and her heart. And I prayed..."Lord, please give me the right words. Please do not let me blow it." And He spoke to me in that moment, rain pelting our heads, Hannah gloating with joy, "OOOOOOOhhhh, Emmy is in trouble, you mad mom? You really mad at Emmy?"
How many times have I fallen? I mean really fallen. How many times has He issued a warning, maybe even three, and yet, my own will got in the way? How many times have any of us fallen from grace? Far too many to record. At the time, we were in the season that was so close to Easter, I was reminded that it is only in the sacrifice made for my flawed human self by the King of all Kings, that I am pulled up from the ground, shaken yet renewed, just as quickly as my tumble occurred. The Bible assures us that He, Himself, holds out His hand to us. (Psalm 138:7-8)
And so, I extended my hand to her, we marched into school with our heads held high, Em dripping all the way:) She sat down in class and had snack with her friends while they waited for the bus...
Of course, I ran home quick as can be. I retrieved another pair of pants, floored it back to school, parked illegally, begged the Assistant Principal to let me back in, changed Emily in the nearest bathroom, kissed her little red head and told her to have a super day with her friends and the bugs.
The lesson from this seemingly normal, rainy morning has proven to be extraordinary in resonating over the months that would follow. Time and time again, the visual of my sweet girl losing her step has reminded me of my need for His grace and mercy. It has helped me fall headlong into His word, accepting His hand when I stumble and extending my own, in times I thought I could not.
Perhaps today the Lord is urging you to extend a hand or receive one outstretched to you...