Several weeks ago a nice little rainstorm came into our area and left behind some reminders in our yard. We have one area that, though it seems to drain well, doesn’t get a lot of sunlight so it takes a while to dry. The ground is very soft and in the summer, even in dry times, is very mushy so you can imagine what a good winter rain leaves it looking and feeling like… pretty much a muddy slip and slide.
It seems that with three daughters we are always trying to rush to get to where we need to go. This story begins on what just happened to be my oldest daughter’s birthday celebration night. We were all rushing to go meet grandparents at a restaurant and impatience was running rampant. My husband and oldest daughter were in the other car while our youngest and myself were in our van. We were waiting for our middle child. She knew she was holding everyone up and could probably sense our frustration so when I looked up I noticed that she was rushing to the passenger side of the van. I looked back down and continued digging for something really important in my purse when I noticed in my peripheral vision … pretty much a slow motion scene… I noticed her laying horizontal in midair and then disappeared… It was like a magic trick gone wrong… Being the sympathetic and compassionate mother that I am, I laughed….and got out to check on her. As I rounded the hood of the van there she was sitting in a cushion of mud.. Now, Allison has always had the ability to be a tad bit dramatic… well, really a lot dramatic especially when sympathetic mom is not being so sympathetic … so now was her time to shine.. She was not about to fall, have mom laugh at her and then not make us all feel guilty for it… So she got up, with tears in her eyes and a cracking voice, held on to me as she limped her way into the house to change clothes… something was surely broken… Well, apparently Cheddar’s can cure a broken something because she was fine and laughing about the whole thing a little bit later…
Now, you would think that Allison and I would have both learned our lessons… Her little drama was remembered and smiled about from time to time but for the embarrassment she experienced (our neighbor asked her later if she was okay) and for the guilt that I endured, it was not something that any of us wanted to relive…
Well, then it snowed and rained ice and our driveway became a downhill skating rink. Again, we were running late for something and I was digging for that ever important something in my purse when I looked up and noticed Allison coming out to the car. I went about my business and the next thing I know, Allison was once again, horizontal in midair and then disappeared. I knew better than to laugh. I quickly opened my door to get out and check on her and I saw her shoulders bobbing up and down and I heard laughter so I joined in… I felt a sense of relief as I was able to laugh this time, not at my daughter but with with her. As I made my way closer I laughed a bit harder and louder… my daughter looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said something like, ” I can’t believe you are laughing at me!” It was at that moment that I realized that Allison wasn’t laughing after all, she was sobbing. She got me again, I was completely guilt-ridden. I tried to comfort her by explaining that I thought she was laughing and so therefore I thought I had the freedom of sharing a humorous moment with her… She looked at me like I was crazy. I helped her up, nearly falling too, and directed her back to the house so she could get dry clothes on.
So, two times down (literally) and one to go… Tonight, for a change, I wasn’t truly in a hurry but my daughter was. She was semi-pushing for us to make our way out to the car, but for whatever reason I was able to get there before her. I was doing my thing … you know the routine by now… looking in my purse for something important when I saw her coming to the car. It had been about six weeks since the first fall and about three since the other so they were long forgotten… but quickly remembered when I, once more, saw Allison disappear …. This time though, it was a bit different. Before I even had time to maneuver my way out of the car to check on her, she popped straight back up, looked at me through the window and laughed… she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I’ll be right back.” I chuckled as I watched her go into the house to change out of her muddy clothes…
You know, I fall quite a bit too. Not physically fall so much, but I fall in other in ways. I fall in patience, or understanding, or compassion or giving of my time… those are just a few of many. Falling isn’t really the same as failing. Failing is at the end of the road, falling is a bump in the road. After each fall, Allison went back inside, changed clothes and finished what she had started. She may have been a bit dramatic about it but she didn’t let it keep her from doing what she had intended.
I don’t know where you are as you read this… maybe you are feeling a bit overwhelmed after a fall… maybe it is a health fall, an emotional fall, a financial fall, a spiritual fall… maybe you really don’t have the support that you need to help you get up after that fall. Sometimes those falls are easy to pop up from, other times a good cry is a natural precursor to getting up and then sometimes we can be totally embarrassed or angry… whatever the case may be, Christ is there with a hand held out to offer you help and hope… holding that hand and allowing him to be the strength is what directs us home….
35While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
36Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!“). 42Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.