Kids will cry over stupid stuff.
I remember one of mine crying because I kept her from sticking things in the outlets of our house. The other one once cried because mean mama wouldn't allow him to dip his cookies in the toilet or crawl into the oven. Good grief how did they survive?? Tears over stupid stuff has no power over me. But those other tears? Those big, fat, drops of heartbreak that roll down kissable cheeks in moments of helplessness and pain; moments caused by no fault of their own...Those tears, those are the ones that stop a parent in their tracks and cause physical pain in the hollow of your chest.
Kaycee has the biggest tears you've ever seen. When she decides to cry, her big, brown eyes are transformed into infinity pools with waterfalls. The beauty of her smile is replaced by a protruding bottom lip, and the corners of her mouth seem to drop far enough to touch her shoulders. She's a tough little pistol though, and cries with defiant silence...her shoulders shake and her face glows red while those tears carve rivers through her beautiful face.
Drew is a different story. As he has matured his reaction to heartache has changed from tears to withdrawal. I've seen him walk through the door, and beeline to his room dropping his bag, shoes, phone, water bottle, and whatever else he carried, on the floor along the way. I will go in his room and find him cocooned on his bed, wrapped tightly in a bright red comforter as he takes the time to transform from heart ache to healing. As a parent, there is no greater feeling of helplessness than watching your children experience pain that you cannot remove. I just want to pull them into me. Like, literally inside my chest straight into my heart-beat to somehow give them every ounce of my love, strength, and life. I want to absorb that pain and soak it up for them, with them, instead of them. Drew thanked me for spending time with him on an issue he was recently experiencing and I didn't even think twice before saying, "Drew, when will you understand?"
"Understand what?" He asked.
"There's nothing I won't do for you." I replied. "Nothing."
He hugged me tight and went back to his cocoon for a little while, emerging later ready to face his problem head on. I love that about him by the way.
I read this passage of Luke 7 a couple days ago that showed me the heart of my Jesus:
(11-15)"Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman’s only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, “Don’t cry.” Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, “Young man, I tell you: Get up.” The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother."
Exhausted after a full day of work with needy people, defiant enemies, and those who would try to set him up for failure He was met at the door by His heartbroken little girl. He dropped everything, probably wiped her tears and met her with tenderness. That's the heart of a Dad.
"Don't cry". I remember my husband scooping up a 5 pound 9 ounce ball of wonder saying those same words to her as he tried everything to take away her fear and discomfort. Can you close your eyes and see Jesus pushing everything of lesser importance out of the way as He flattens the path between Himself and His Beloved? Can you see Him looking around to assess what is causing her pain and what He can do to stop it? He can't stand her heartache.
"Don't cry." His next words might as well have been, "When will you understand? There's nothing I won't do for you!" Doesn't that picture, ironically, just bring you to tears and bring you joy at the same time? Sometimes we learn greatest from the pain and sometimes we learn from the healing...but I believe one of God's greatest displays of strength is when He wills Himself to stay put and let us learn from the heartache.
This is usually the part of my blog where I tie my story up into some neat little package with spiritual truth but I don't really have that this time. Honestly I just wanted to share with you the striking picture of tenderness in these scriptures. Jesus is the face of God—and God is for us. He is FOR us. Let that sink into your tired heart and weary bones. He is not just involved with you in your joy, He wants to take you into Himself—to His very heartbeat, His infinite love, strength, and life in the middle of your pain too. That's the heart of a Dad.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.