One way your gentle Father delights to set you free

Out for my morning run, I passed a child toddling on legs still new enough to be unsteady. Her father sat on the curb, watching as she explored the smooth path a meter or two from his knees.

As she wobbled toward the opposite curb and the uneven grassy strip beyond, her father rose and stood behind her, taking each of her little hands in his. So gentle he was, and so unobtrusive, that the little girl seemed almost as unaware of her held hands as of the obstacles threatening her stability. Her gait quickened, though, and, hands still held, she stepped easily over the curb and ran on the grass, her bright eyes continuing to explore the exciting world in front of her.

She didn’t turn to look at her father.

She didn’t pause to consider the obstacles in her path.

She seemed simply to trust that if hands were offered, hands were what she needed, and they would always be there when she needed them.

Her father didn’t break her play by picking her up, didn’t, in that moment, call her name or turn her toward him. He took her hands to facilitate her freedom, gave her the gift of himself to give her the gift of herself and her world, helping her discover that the world is a beautiful and exciting gift to be explored. His presence enlarged her world, made her safer and stronger than she was on her own. Stronger to enjoy. Stronger to explore. Stronger to play.

His gentle love set her free.

“I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Jo Dee Ahmann

    I do this so often with Isaiah and yet I have never wondered how often my Lord steadies me without my notice. Thanks for planting this amazing picture in my heart this morning.

    1. hearingtheheartbeat

      Thanks JoDee. As I read your comment I pictured God standing behind you holding your hands as you stand behind Isaiah holding his. So beautiful. . .

  2. momfan

    Beautiful, Love! I think it was when you or your brother or sister were toddlers that I first remember coming across the psalm that tells us the same thing, (Psalm 18:35), “Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. (or in some translations “You stooped down to make me great.”) In my explorations and stumbles as a parent, I found myself very humbled and comforted, and now find myself needing to be reminded!

  3. Lois McLean

    Thank You, God, for Your powerful name, the Word of God, that has just been placed upon us. You have given Your word that You would fulfill the blessing. Let it be that You would stoop down and take hold of our hands in the name of Jesus, the Christ of God. Amen”

  4. Julie Sparrow

    Beautiful and moving image. Thanks Carolyn.

  5. L Meisner

    Care, what a beautiful blog post! Simple with so much truth.

  6. Klara van der Molen

    Beautiful image and picture to behold, especially at present– also in light of yesterday’s sermon and the hand out of the photo after the service.My sister in law is in her last hours in Holland and to come home by myself here, knowing that at any minute now the word will come of her passing, I was meant to receive your message– that the Father holds me to even as I had not thought of it. My natural family may be all in Holland, but my Father is here and holding me.

    1. hearingtheheartbeat

      Oh, Klara, I was far away during the final days of three of my grandparents’ lives and it was so hard. Praying for you at this time. And yes, you are held even when you are not aware of it. Much love. . .

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