Sunday, September 19, 2010

Heavy Briefcases

Something sad happened this morning.  I rarely cry in front of my children, but this morning I did.  Brooke looked at me in earnest two-year-old concern, asked Mommy sad? and then nodded when I answered Yes, mommy is sad.  Reese reached out and touched my face.  It was such a sensitive gesture that I teared up again.

I always want to be strong for my children.  I want to be the one to wipe their tears and hold their hands and offer them comfort.  How beautiful and humbling it is when the comforting comes from them, when one of their little hands rubs my back, when one of their little voices assures me that everything is going to be okay.

I once heard a story where a young child asked his troubled father what was the matter.  The father answered that some burdens were just meant for the shoulders of fathers.  The father pointed to his heavy briefcase and asked his son to lift it.  Despite straining, the boy was unable to do so.  The father gently unwrapped his son's fingers from the handle and lifted the briefcase himself, assuring his son that although his burdens may be heavy, he was strong enough to lift them and he never wanted his son to feel like he had to carry them for him.

I've always loved that story.  I think of myself like the son and God as the father -- a Father who is perfectly able to carry the heavy burdens and concerns that I struggle and strain to lift, a Father who is just waiting for me to unwrap my tired fingers and let His strong hand take their place.

This morning, I felt better after crying a little.  I hugged my girls, tousled their hair, and let them know that they never need to worry about me.  Their mommy is in good hands.

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