Aiden asked us to remove his training wheels this week. He’s three and a half and he’s growing weed-like and it scares me, but we took the wheels off.
And that first night, Trent bent low and guided the bike long down the hamlet road, back and forth and Aiden going strong until he realized Trent had let go. And then he swerved and Trent caught him from falling, but oh, how it reminded me of Peter.
Jesus walking on the water and Peter wanting to walk also, believing he could, and then he’s out and crossing the waves until he looks down. And distraction causes him to sink, his focus on the distance, and the road can be long. The waves, rocky.
“I won’t let you fall,” Trent tells Aiden, but his daddy’s promise is not enough. Aiden needs to see.
And we’re Thomas needing to see the proof–the love, the wounds in Jesus’ hands–because ever since Adam and Eve we’ve forgotten how to trust. Ever since taking that fruit we took the confidence, the rest, that comes from being secure in someone’s love and we cursed it with doubt.
Because the truth is?
We don’t like ourselves enough to believe that anyone else could. We don’t like ourselves enough to believe that love can happen without a catch, that it’s possibly to place ourselves in the hands of someone else and not get hurt. We don’t believe God would love us enough to tell us “no” simply because he knows what’s best for us.
Because who cares that much?
And our children are born with it. With this question in their eyes. The question asking: “Does anyone care about me?” Not knowing how absolutely, incredibly, undoubtedly valuable they are. And that is why — even though we tell them we love them, that we cherish them, that they are perfect in our eyes — they can never hear it enough.
And that is why they look to see if we’re still holding them.
“Daddy and I will never, ever let you fall,” I tell Aiden that night in bed. “We might let go, but we won’t let you fall.”
And me saying this is uttering the same words my heavenly father has whispered night after night to my shattered reflection: “I may let go, Emily, but I will never let you fall.”
I need him to say this, over and over.
And our children do too.
And maybe one day? We will ride the long road far, and not look back, knowing our father is watching.
And this will be enough.