The 4 lane road in front of our apartment complex in China was being re-paved one summer. Soccer Dude was around 6 years old at the time and had just mastered riding his two-wheel bike. Nothing like a fresh paved road, that is closed to traffic, for a boy and his bike. (Photo from that summer on the left. Hasn’t he grown?!)
One afternoon I was following him slowly with Roo on a trike when I realized that he was having a hard time with his brakes. He was going faster and faster and I started to call out to him. That was when I saw a bus driving from the university gateway. I froze in the middle of the road and without thinking screamed – “Jeeeesus! Jeeeeesus!”
You should have seen the shocked looks of all the pedestrians. Not everyday do you see a crazy white woman screaming “Jesus” at the top of her lungs in the middle of a communist country. Soccer dude did not get hit – Praise the Lord – and afterwards it seemed a bit funny. I guess you never know what you will do until a crisis moment actually hits.
I have thought of this story often – last night being one of them.
I was leaning over the rail of the crib, for the third time, desperately trying to sooth Little Man during a night filled with terrors. I wanted to take away his fear. Maybe if I rock him on the left instead of the right. I hum, offer up a half hearted exhausted prayer and try to guess at the Chinese words he is muttering in his sleep. Maybe if I turn the fan on or turn the music down……
I worry, make a list, read a parenting book – surely I can find the answer and fix things for my children if I would just dig deeper or try harder.
Then it happens – usually when I have come to the end of my rope – in desperation my heart cries “Jesus, Jesus!”
If there is nothing else I have learned as a parent, its that I can’t do this on my own. I don’t know how to help my child who is having a hard time making new friends. I can’t protect their heart from hurt; I don’t have wise words every time an identity crisis rises. Heck, I can’t get them to stop fighting and whining! So often I feel frozen – not knowing what to do or what to say.
Wishing for what came so naturally to me that day in China to become my daily habit. Not the screaming crazy white woman part, but the calling on Jesus as a knee jerk reaction part. Can you imagine how different my family would be if I just would remember to call on His name?! I need not to wait till the crisis, but to call His name from the beginning.
Make it so.