I could hear his little voice from across the pool.
He was terrified of being let go in the water, but his stern young coach was determined to do it.
There was some splashing around as he wrestled with the instructor. His hand disappeared off the instructor’s arm and then immediately reappeared on his waist.
More thrashing. More splashing. And then an ear-piercing shriek as the instructor peeled my son’s hands off of him and pushed him to the edge of the pool—alone.
Shivering, he pulled himself out of the water, sat down on the ledge with his class and looked at me. He bravely held his emotions together, but from across the pool I could see his bottom lip trembling and the pleading look in his eyes, “Mommy, come get me, please.”
My heart wrestled as I looked at my son. His eyes locked onto mine, “Please, Mommy. Come get me. Please.”
My mind raced. What do I do? Do I run and get him? Would that make me a “helicopter mom”—one that hovers over her kid, ready to rescue him from the slightest whiff of trouble? And at this point, if I was a helicopter mom, did I care?
“Please, Mommy. Come get me. Please.”
Mercifully, the whistle blew. Class was over.
My son made his way back to me. I scooped him up in his green froggy towel, hugged him tightly on my lap, and tried to think of a Bible verse that would make it okay to slug a 20-year-old swim coach in the face.
I couldn’t think of one, so I gave a few choice words to the coach and a got a full refund on all 8 lessons.
No more swim classes. At least not for now.
The whole incident stayed with me for days. I kept seeing the pleading look on my son’s face as he wondered, “Mommy, why aren’t you coming to get me?”
From my husband’s perspective, it was right to not run to his rescue. I wouldn’t always be nearby to comfort him, and it was better for him to settle himself than for me to do it for him. Painful as it was, something greater was accomplished in that moment.
My husband has a lot of wisdom, and in this situation I know he’s right. Still, my heart aches when I remember those tear-filled eyes and that trembling lip.
When your child is hurting and pleading with you, what good mom wouldn’t want to run and help?
“Please, Mommy. Come get me. Please.”
What loving dad wouldn’t want to swoop down and scoop him up?
“Please, Daddy. Come get me. Please.”
What Father’s heart wouldn’t break to hear his son cry out, “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?”
Can you picture it? The moment right before Jesus’ death?
“Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?”
Can you feel the Father’s heart ripping in two as His Son cries out?
Because I imagine it did. I imagine it tore in half from top to bottom, just like the temple curtain.
John 11:35 tells us that Jesus wept. But have you ever thought about God the Father weeping? That’s not the picture I get when I think of the all-powerful, all-knowing God. I imagine Him tough as steel. God Almighty. But I forget. God is love, and if He is love then how could He not weep with sorrow to see His Son suffering and crying out to Him?
If God is love, how could He not want with all His heart to swoop down and scoop him up? If my heart broke to see my son pleading with me at the neighborhood pool, how much more did God’s heart break to see His Son pleading with Him at the cross? How much more did He want to swoop down and scoop him up?
But He didn’t. He wouldn’t—even though He could. He had something greater to accomplish in that moment. Rescuing His Son would have cost Him our lives. It would have left us without hope. We would have been destined to die, separated from the Father for all eternity. And He couldn’t bear the thought of it. So He stayed put as the cry pierced the air.
“Father, Father! Why have you forsaken me?”
I imagine the Father’s face, crumbling with grief. And then I imagine His reply.
Heart breaking in all directions. Tears streaming down His face.
“Because—I don’t want to go a day without them.”
Our Father. He loves us. Oh, how He loves us.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:10, 19
Take a moment today to listen to How He Loves you and receive His love; then tell your Heavenly Father, “Happy Father’s Day.”
by Michele de Miranda with Shabby Chic Ministries
Wielding Femininity to the Glory of God Bible study / CD