By David Ramos
As part of my new role as the head of a school I make rounds visiting classes and teachers. Yesterday I heard one teacher use an interesting anecdote; she described how parents are able to distinguish the cry of their child playing among other children. While not a parent myself I remembered discussions with friends who tell me of the particular needed sensory development to monitor children’s ubiquitous potential of getting into trouble or doing something potentially dangerous. I remembered being around nieces and nephews and confirmed the validity of this. There is that whiney, “He hit me,” cry. There is the, “Since I can’t have my way I’ll protest and make your life miserable” cry (that one never seemed to work with my Dad who promptly gave me other reasons to cry about). There is that authentic “I stubbed my toe or banged my head on the table” cry. But ever so often, a parent’s worst nightmare comes to pass, when there is that blood curdling shriek, that cry that terrifies you, the one when your heart stops and you drop everything and race to your child. Sometimes bad accidents happen or even tragedies occur when children need immediate medical attention. That image of the racing parent rushing in to save their child, who would move mountains, overcome any obstacle or even lay down their own life for their child is a precious one.
I am reminded of the true story of a woman who was biking with her daughter when a mountain lion attacked them. The mountain lion grabbed her child in its jaws and the mother fought the lion and would not let go of her child while the mountain lion attempted to drag her daughter away. The lion pulled and pulled but the mother would not let go. After an intense struggle, eventually the lion gave up and left. The child lived and after recuperating she was being interviewed by reporters about her injuries. Part of her injuries was from the deep scratches inflicted by her mother’s grip. When asked about these injuries the daughter said that they were a symbol of her mother’s love that would not let her go.
Isn’t God like that? We serve a God who knows our cry; God can distinguish our whiney cries from the depths of anguish and/or crisis we may undergo. God rushes in to save us and fights on our behalf to deliver us from the clutches of any predators. In these life and death struggles we may experience injuries or even scars. Perhaps they can remind us or point to God’s stubborn love that would not let us go.
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry…He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." Psalm 18:6–7, 16–19.