Wednesday, August 26, 2009

God's Love

Back on the 4th of July, I experienced a mothering moment that helped me comprehend the love of God.

We were at a friend's house and sparklers were passed around to all of the kids. Many of us adults were sitting several yards away on the porch just chatting and enjoying our food.

My mother in law was holding our new baby Caroline, yet amazingly enough, still watching over our older kids with sparklers better than I was hands free. She said, "Alice, you better go and check on Bella. I think something is wrong."

I sauntered over only to discover Bella with one shoe off sitting on the ground holding her big toe apart from the one right next to it. As long as I live, the smell of her burning flesh will never leave me. A remnant of her sparkler had fallen into the hole of her croc. and melted away her flesh. A few days later, when I was worried infection might be spreading, I wasn't surprised when the doctor told me that she had third degree burns.

And for inquiring minds, we were prescribed some good burn ointment and figured out how to wedge gauze between the toes so that the air could get to the wound and she is now as good as new.

Back to the story. Finding Bella suffering from this burn was very disheartening to me. I was so upset that I hadn't noticed her jump around in pain. I was saddened the she didn't cry out for help. I was compassioned that she was sitting in a state of shock and doing a mighty fine job of "being tough". The girl didn't even cry until I told her it was o.k.

The next day, on our way to church, I was expressing my feelings to LG. "Why didn't she scream?", I lamented. I felt horrible that somehow I had taught my child to be too tough and that for some reason I had not given her permission to hurt or to scream out for help when she needed it the most.

A little further down the road to church, it struck me like a ton of bricks. I could not hold back my emotion. I sat silently as tears streamed down my face. I had experienced for my child what God must experience so often for all of his children. I am sure at times he also laments, "Why don't they scream?"

Because of the feelings I experienced while pondering upon Bella, I know that God, our Father, is there to help us. He doesn't want us to suffer alone. He is a perfect God, and unlike this sometimes oblivious mother, he notices every time we get burned. We may not approach him because we think it is hopeless or that we aren't worthy of his love. (Just as Bella never screamed out because maybe she thought she would be in trouble) But, as his children, we are always worthy of his love. He cannot stop loving us no matter how badly we have acted. Sometimes we may even think we did something wrong when really we haven't. Sometimes maybe somebody else handed us a sparkler and we took it without realizing what damage it could do.

We may not seek his help because we think we are tough and that we can handle it, which may very well be true. But, why do we insist on doing it alone when he is watching over us so diligently? He is the ultimate water source. He is like the soothing jacuzzi pictured above. And when we fail to seek him, it's as if we choose the pathetic path of spitting upon our own wounds, when he can pour out the most refreshing waterfall. Need I remind you that his waterfall is naturally flowing all of the time and is there whether we tap into it or not.

Bella was being tough; she didn't think that she needed my help. Without totally realizing the severity of the burns at the time, I grabbed Bella by the hand and walked over to a water source. I kick myself now when I think that I made her limp over and I didn't pick her up and carry her to safety.
God is perfect. He can pick us up. He will let us limp only if it is absolutley necessary for us to learn something. Otherwise he will always carry us to safety. I know this to be true.

I hope that I will never error again by being too tough for God. Because after this experience, I have learned that when I am too tough, he has to sit back and watch me suffer, and that is the last thing he wants to do. I know it. I know it because I would take a million burns over my own body, until my death if necesssary, than to ever smell the burning flesh of my own child ever again. Or if she absolutely has to experience that burn, I at LEAST want to hold her up while she does.


Jeremiah 31:3 "...I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore
with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."

21 comments:

mother goose said...

oh my gosh, this was the most beautiful post ever! I love the eternal perspective that you have related to your own life's experiences! You have to be spiritually intuned to see the correlations so stop kicking yourself so hard.

I understand. I think because of her reaction is why you didn't think the burn was so bad. Therefore the walked. Seriously, I loved this post and I may have to reference it in church, saying MY FRIEND and not my blogger friend.
I already have the rep of being the blogging queen at church.
Hence, going private. LOL

Rita said...

Alice, you are so amazing. This post hit home with me today and I want to thank you for that.

As always this is so beautifully written.

Thanks for once again adding some inspiration to my day. ((HUGS))

cally said...

So great, Alice. I love you.

FeatherGirl ..... That's My Name!!! said...

Alice.... I have been struggling "by myself" for a while.. and your blog just reminds me that I KNOW what I need be doing.. and that I need to trust my Heavenly Father to get me thru this time!!

Thank you for posting, so eloquently, what I needed to hear!!

Anonymous said...

I'm to lazy to log into, my blog account, but this is Missy Gold--I'm, crying for many reason, partly cuz these seems to be the way I parent also--making sure the kids are tough. Also because I have to give a talk on Sunday and have struggled and struggled with this talk and thoughts to share--hope you don't mind if i share your story--and it will be your story I won't take credit for it, even though I would love to!! Thanks ;)

ShEiLa said...

That is a hard one to watch your child suffer... and I love that you referenced our Heavenly Father feeling the same way about us... his children.

Thank you for this beautiful post.

ToOdLeS.

Mel said...

I need this! Thanks Al!! Love you!!!!

sherry said...

Ali, thanks for the post. You have put in words what I needed to hear. You are great!

Lori said...

Alice, what a great lesson. Thanks for telling it.

Katy Beth said...

Alice, you made me cry...at work. I know how you feel. Such a good post!

Donna said...

Loved it. So true, I know I don't cry out for help when I need it. Great post.

For the record crocs are bad news. They're ugly and unsafe. Seth's boss at his old job slipped and broke his ankle on those stupid things. I'll buy all your kids new shoes if you throw those nasty things out. Bleck!

Jenny said...

What a great post Alice. Since I was thinking about God today and his love. I have struggled with being active in the church due to a something that happened in our old ward with our bishop. I can see our Heavenly Fathers love, as a drove home today I was thinking about this very topic.Here you wrote such a wonderful post. It was up lifting and inspiring.

Glad Bella's toes is healing.

Klin said...

This is profound! So beautiful. So true. It is amazing how you take a common incident and find the eternal lesson and then are wise enough to share with us. I'm so grateful I read you.

I often tell parents that the hardest thing they will ever do as a parent is to watch their child struggle with the consequences of their actions. Watching our children suffer does give us insight as to how the Lord feels when he watches us.



Now because I am in rather snarky mood I must add that this is so beautiful, on the internet, and I will raise my hand to sustain you as the next Primary GP.

MiaKatia said...

Thank you Alice.

JR Morgan said...

"But, why do we insist on doing it alone when he is watching over us so diligently?"

AMEN!! We don't have to be stoic with the Lord, that is not his doctrine.

We'll said sister. And the first line of defence, or the ministering angles the Lord gave us are our spouses, our families, our leaders, our home teachers.

Thanks for sharing such a keen and important insight.

Bunch of Brooks' said...

You have a way with words, girl. You can write your experiences so well...as if we've experienced them right along with you. Thanks for the great reminder:)

One Happy Family said...

What a wonderful and emotional experience. Great perspective and beautifully written. Thanks for sharing with us.

Ree said...

Thanks for that testimony, Alice. It is a great reminder.

chelsea said...

This was very sweet and beautifully written Alice! (And I'll never let my kids play with sparklers now!!!)

Renee said...

I read this a few days ago, but I didn't know what to say.... I really needed to hear it. Why, as a member of the church, do I constantly forget He is there for me? Pride?...Misplaced Priorities?... probably a lot of things. Letting things go and trusting in the Lord is something I really need to work on. Thank you so much for this beautiful post.

Lindsey Rose said...

I loved this post, i have so many times that I dont HEAR my children when they need me the most and I think being more like our Heavely Father will only make us better parents every day.