It started off like any other counseling session. But about mid way through, I heard the wind knocking the trees against the windows.
Minutes later, the national weather sirens echoed through the house. Even still, I just continued our conversation. We had important things to talk about.
Yet, when the second siren went off, a little girl appeared outside the doors to the office. Even with my broken vision, I could see fear raging within her.
So, I pulled out one of my ear buds and asked if she was okay. No words came out. Instead, she immediately darted over and crawled into my lap.
I was a bit surprised as I am new to her family and world and we had interacted only a handful of times. Still, I treasured the interruption and wrapped my arm around her. I reminded her we were safe. She wasn’t alone and even if the storm got wild, Jesus was watching over us.
At first, these words seemed to bounce right off her small frame as she continued trembling. Although, the longer we sat, curled up in the chair and I continued rehearsing the same, I felt her body begin to relax. She realized I wasn’t going anywhere, either. She could trust me. She was safe.
Eventually, the warning ceased and my counselor and I finished our session. I transferred from the chair back into my wheelchair and was heading out the office doors when I looked up. The little girl was again gazing back at me. This time I noticed she had no pants.
The shame was heavy as her eyes welled with tears and she reached for her clothes from behind her back. So, rather than scolding, I assured her that accidents happen to us all from time to time.
The next thing I knew she was inviting me to her room. I scooted up the stairs and we took care of business in getting her dry. But, our adventure didn’t stop there. She brought out toys and stickers. Within minutes, we were smiling and giggling and playing, having built an unshakable bond like a big and little “sister”.
As I reflected on the beautiful interruption with the sweet child that evening and the transformation from mere strangers to trusted friends, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus- How He interacted with people and children alike of all ages, races and socioeconomic statuses. Even in the unveiling of their fears and fragility, shame and embarrassment, He embraced them.
I couldn’t help but wonder, What would it look like if we did the same for one another?
During my time in the Bible in the following days, I also noticed the words “safety”, “protection”, and “refuge” jumping off the page.
- 2 Samuel 22: 1-4, 19-20 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies… They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.”
- Isaiah 25:4 “But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat.”
- Psalm 91: 1-4 “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”
These are just three out of countless verses with such a theme. But especially in this time in our world, nation, and even my life personally, I believe it is no accident the Lord would illuminate these words.
We are being shaken and attacked from every angle. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Even spiritually.
Temptation tries to entice us to turn to fear, food, our own strength or possessions for protection. Although, even the best of things or people can not truly be “safe” through all life’s storms.
So, dear friend, we must run to Jesus. We don’t have to hide or pretend the emotions we wear or the situations we bear don’t exist. In fact, He is inviting us to bring it all to Him.
All the tears and fears. The cancer diagnoses and COVID statistics. Our enemies and empty bank accounts. The friend fighting substance abuse and the family member who does not know Jesus.
All the circumstances that seem impossible, like there is no hope. You can bring all that is weighing you down to Him, this very moment.
Yes, even the past you are still shackled to by shame and guilt. The lies saying “It was all your fault” or “You’re too broken.” or the belief that “No one could love you.”
You don’t have to carry it any longer, friend. We can bring all to the foot of the cross and trust that Jesus is there to meet us. It does not mean life will suddenly be easy. But we will no longer have to do it alone.
As the winds and storms rage in and around us, we can crawl up Jesus’ lap and let him hold us close.
For even if the physical world attacks or our body crashes, we can cling to His promises and know we are truly safe in His arms alone.