“with one mind striving together”
I helped my daughter for a few hours today, by doing absolutely nothing.
Well that’s not exactly true. I read a Sherlock Holmes story in my son’s Lit book (prepping for next year). And I texted my sister, about how much butter to put on artichokes, and high school graduation ceremonies, and the merits of shave ice. And I talked to my other sister on the phone, about the antics of my nephew, and golfing in Edinburgh, Scotland. And I did some proofreading, for some Bible study curriculum I’m helping to write.
And I sat and thought, and people-watched and enjoyed the zephyr of a Southern California Spring day. And I prayed.
You see, my girl had something difficult to do today, that she’d been dreading for awhile. Happily now, it’s done.
And I’d done everything I could to help prepare her for it, but I could not help her through it. There are in things in this life, you know, that we have to walk through all alone. But I could drive her there, so that I could encourage her along the way, and we could sing duets from Broadway musicals to take her mind off of it, and then we could both breathe a sigh of relief afterwards.
But more than providing transportation for her, I could be there. I sat outside the building and waited and prayed and thought about her, and provided support for her, simply by being nearby. It’s not much, really, when someone you love has to do something difficult, but it is something. I told her as we walked from the car to the building to think of Jesus when He was on the cross. He was entirely alone in that sacrifice ~ no one could do it for Him, or even with Him. His death was His alone. Nearby, however, were a few who loved Him. The apostle John, Jesus’ mother Mary and a few others. They couldn’t stop it from happening, they couldn’t ease the pain… but they wouldn’t leave Him.
And as I sat outside the building today, enjoying the breeze and the jacaranda trees and keeping Mr Holmes company while he solved the mystery of the beryl coronet, I remembered when my girl was just a baby. We had moved her crib out of our room, and were moving out of the “feed in the middle of the night” stage and into the “you need to learn to fall asleep by yourself” stage. And a few times, that required just letting her cry. To go into her room would have been “rewarding” her for crying, so says the books, so I couldn’t do that. But neither would I just go back downstairs and watch TV as if nothing was happening upstairs. So I sat on the floor outside her room, uncomfortable and hurting with her, for long, long minutes, until the crying stopped.
Something important was happening there. A little girl was getting through something difficult, and it would make her a stronger person. Just like this difficult thing today, and this not-so-little girl. She’s stronger now, and she did it by herself.
But she didn’t do it alone.