Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gabriel's Message

This past weekend Gabe began mastering the art of sitting up!  Saturday morning lil'man and I sat together on the living room floor.  He sat very close facing me.  I could see his little mind working out the balancing act of equilibrium.  A bit of a teeter this way and that and then, smiling, he eventually leaned back ever so slightly to look up at me.  Thus began his topple over backward.  As he fell back I gently reached round him catching and guiding his head until it rested softly on the carpet.  By Sunday night he'd become an old pro!  He sat for about 45 minutes playing and enjoying his latest milestone of life.

Don't we all journey through our milestones and accomplishments of life wobbling this way and that?  And don't we all eventually end toppling over at some point in our lives?  Do we forget that a loving spiritual parent is there, arms outstretched, ready to help us get out of our 'boat', to walk where we thought not possible or to save us from toppling over?

As a loving parent I was there to help guide my child as he fell backward, but mind you this was a process of growth for both of us.

Last month we visited Gabe's new pediatrician for the first time.  Naturally he was excited, taking in the sights and sounds of the office as we awaited the Dr.'s arrival.  After arriving, chatting and conducting some basic questioning, the Dr. commenced with the exam.  Gabe was then in the practice mode of sitting up.  He'd only tried it a few times.  I was proud that Gabe was exhibiting this important growth task in front of the Dr., but no more than a few seconds passed when his little head thudded against the wall back of the soft exam table.  Instantly, there was that moment of no breath, mouth open wide with eyes tightly closed.  Gabe's face was red cheeked with shock.  A whaling cry was followed by tiny tears and whimpering attempts to catch his breath that soon subsided in the comfort of his mother's arms.  Even with the Dr.'s persistent "It's OK" and smiling reassurances to me, I felt Gabe's pain and felt bad because I didn't catch him. Afterward, I was there with Kim to wipe away his tears, console and reassure him, but even though I knew he was OK, I still felt inadequate.  I felt that somehow I'd failed him as a parent.  Had I done something wrong?

At times we all will stumble and fall into the wall of life with a resounding thud.  Although comforting arms might not keep us from the initial tumble we gain strength and reassurance from the knowledge that during life's ups and downs God is always there with us spiritually ready to pick us up.  A loving gracious parent can't help but feel the pain of their child no matter what kind of situation befalls them.

I wonder what the Creator parent feels when we hit the wall?

As we teeter this way and that, wobbling through life, perhaps we're not discerning THE voice calling us to look up?  Come to think of it, maybe that's why when I pray, I choose not to bow my head, but instead close my eyes and tilt my head ever so slightly skyward.

I challenge you during this coming Holy Week, to reach out and be there for someone (a family member, a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, a stranger, a child, your child) who may be encountering some sort of unsteadiness on their spiritual journey.  Reassure them before, console them through and lift them after their fall and encourage them to seek God's face throughout it all by simply telling them to look up.


On this past Sunday night I got to attend a solo show given by Neil Young at the Landmark Theater in Richmond, VA.  It was great!  Neil still has it after all these years. Highlight of the evening for me was 'Ohio'. The below video from late last year is the same way he did this past weekend.  Love the Gretsch guitar!

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