You see, I love this photo for other reasons apart from its obvious aesthetic value. I love it also because it captures two of my favourite people. But most importantly it tells a story. It reminds me of how a certain wonderful person treats me…in actual fact, treats us all.
So a few months ago, Ivanna* started walking and like most babies (I refuse to think that she is a little girl now, she is growing too fast) is very excited about it. When in her elements, she doesn’t want to be carried, she wants to just walk and probably feel her feet on the ground. Always a beautiful sight to watch as her tiny legs can carry her along. She is allowed to walk with no restrictions apart from very careful eyes (most times more than perhaps necessary) that follow her every move. 😉
Many years ago (and in my ignorance), I was puzzled and cringed inwardly when I saw a child in a child-harness, I thought to myself why ‘chain’ a child like you would a pet (because honestly the only times I had seen leashes being used was with dogs). In the years since, having had to take care of kids a few too may times (always a welcome pleasure though), I am no longer puzzled. I do not cringe anymore, actually I give a knowing smile to any parent I see in such situation. More importantly I have stopped questioning parenting skills/methods particularly on how they handle their kids in difficult situation. The use of child harnesses is a live debate topic in parenting circles and whereas I do not have a firm opinion on it YET, I fully empathise with parents who use it. Toddlers can be very impulsive and especially in crowded places, one has very limited options to keep a child close and safe and not loose sight of him/her.
But any time I see child on a leash, running around probably with the belief that they can walk/run wherever they want, it remind me of how as individuals we sometimes feel about this journey called life… we feel in control of our lives. All the self-help books tell us that, “it’s our life our choice”, “we have power over our destinies” etc…
But just as a parent with a child in a harness, God lets us go and wander but only as far as is safe. When there is danger, God just as the parent, pulls us close… most times to stubborn cries and resistance. But any good parent knows not to heed to those cries in the good interest of their kid.
Many times my prayer has been for God to pull me away despite my stubbornness when I am in a situation he doesn’t endorse/approve. He has given us our will but I am certain He loves me enough to hear me on such prayers.
Francine Rivers puts it best in one of my favourite books from her; Scarlet thread. She writes: “We make decisions and do things, thinking we are in control, but we never really are. GOD is! It is arrogance and pride to think we rule in our lives. It is an illusion. We are never able to ochestrate a thing. GOD is in control!”
He knows best. And He’s got us!
*Ivanna is my 17mo adorable and precocious goddaughter ❤