Monday, July 6, 2009

The Little Girl Far Off

Can I climb up in Your lap
I don't wanna leave
Jesus sing over me

I gotta keep singing
Oh You're everything I need

And I gotta keep singing

~Mercy Me

Recently, I was reminded of a little girl I worked with at summer camp. Sarah* had been terribly abused, and she wouldn't let anyone touch her. When all the kids crowded around me at night and begged for hugs, she stayed in the corner with her arms crossed. It wasn't OK for her to come close. It wasn't safe.

That's how I've felt with Jesus for a long time now. I've had this incredible desire to let Him hold me, to comfort me -- but He wasn't safe. He let bad things happen to me, and even though I wanted to forgive Him... even though I knew it wasn't His fault... I couldn't seem to get close to Him.

Then He gave me a picture. I saw a little puppy who had been abused. The puppy couldn't trust anyone. It was cornered, trembling and scared. Jesus wanted to come close the puppy, but He knew it needed time to heal. The puppy was scared of people in general, and thought everyone wanted to mistreat it.

And I realized -- I was that puppy. Jesus knew I needed time. And just like the little girl at summer camp, it was OK that I didn't want a good-night hug. It was OK that I needed to sit in the corner with my arms crossed for a little while. Even if it took the rest of my life, He would love me from afar.

Then, the other night, it happened. I didn't expect it. I found myself sitting in His lap. And I realized, it was OK. He hadn't put me there. Little by little I'd inched up to Him until it was safe. And when I saw His caring, loving eyes -- I knew He wouldn't hurt me. I knew He had only good, pure intentions toward me.

Sometimes I still get scared. Sometimes I'm not ready to sit in His lap. Sometimes He's not the first place I run.

But then I remember Sarah. I remember the day we stood by the swimming pool. I remember her big brown eyes as she asked, "Would you help me swim?"

"Are you sure?" I asked, uncertain. Would she really be OK if I touched her?

"Yeah," she smiled. "Just hold me up while I flap my arms around..."

I taught Sarah to swim that day. She flapped her arms in the shallow water while my hands held her up. Her eyes shone with happiness.

Recently I've felt a lot like Sarah. Happily swimming along in the shallow water, with Jesus' hand holding me up.

Then we reached troubled waters.

I got a phone call last week. It was from my doctor's office. After 11 years of being ill, and three years of blissful remission -- the doctor found some abnormal numbers in my lab-work. The numbers represented a new, different problem. Nothing life-threatening... but potentially life-changing nonetheless.

I felt betrayed. How could you, Jesus? How could you allow this to happen while I was floating happily along?

But then I looked into His caring, loving eyes -- and I knew He wouldn't hurt me. He had only good, pure intentions toward me.

I felt the warmth of His smile as He held me above the waters, steadying me.

"Jesus," I cried, "I've done this before but the water's not shallow anymore. Would you help me swim?"

He smiled as he whispered, "My child, just flap your arms. I'll do the rest..."

I wrote this piece last year when I was looking at Jesus from afar. Looking back, I see how My Boy has made it so much easier for me to let Jesus come near. My Boy has loved me, sometimes from afar, and always so that I feel safe. I am so thankful that he is like my Gentle Jesus.
*Sarah's name has been changed.


Debra said...

I love this. I think we can all relate to being a Sarah at one point or another. This is beautiful! <3


Elaina said...

Thank you for sharing this, B.J. I needed to read this.

Fridaydreamer said...

Beautiful BJ--heartwrenching, but beautiful.

BJ Hamrick said...

Thanks, Shaunie.

banderclip said...

Thank you so much for writing this! Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with me because I don't always feel "safe" to sit in Jesus' lap. Thanks for the reminder that He accepts us how we are. I think I need to hear that daily...


BJ Hamrick said...

I think we all need to hear that daily, Christy... at least, I know I do. :) It's so good not to be alone.

Anonymous said...

I've been 'working backwards' through your blog. If I had read it in proper order I would have better understood the later post about your nurse friend. Having gone through a major health issue four years ago I can relate to Sarah's and your uncertainty. I felt betrayed by God. I never lost my belief in him, but I didn't know how much trust I dared give him right then. Then I remembered something I'd heard: "We may not know what tomorrow will hold, but we know who holds our tomorrows." It reminded me that whatever happened, God would see me through it. And he did.

I know all about waiting--for the right guy, for high school to end, for my boobs to come in (two out of three ain't bad).

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