“We have a semi-mobile baby on our hands – Torin has decided that he can get from one place to another by rolling across the room, so we frequently find him stuck under tables or against a wall, shrieking for someone to rescue him. Silly boy.” ~Kristin
Reading my friend’s post this morning on Face book I had to laugh as I pictured her 7 month old baby rolling himself into a predicament, then wailing at the top of his lungs for someone to rescue him. My first thought was how determined this little one is. Not willing to merely lie around, staring up at the ceiling, cooing gently, he propels himself into adventure, one 360-spin at a time. Pretty ambitious given his age.
Twenty-some years ago my baby son similarly maneuvered himself into some interesting jams and reacted the same. I can still recall little Matthew’s panicked shrieks emanating from a corner of my living room.
What strikes me in this moment is when we are young, helpless and in trouble we instinctively know how to call for help. We recognize we are incapable of freeing ourselves. We cry at the top of our lungs for a rescuer. What’s more, we do so expectantly. We trust that one who loves us will show up to bail us out of our misery and entrapment.
Fast forward 30, 40, 50 years or more. I don’t know about you but I’ve changed since my days of wailing infancy. As years rolled on, rather than crying for a rescuer I began to rely on myself for delivery from tough situations. Backed into a corner of my own making, I struggle and fight to free myself. If I cry at all it is in the form of self-pity mingled with loud complaint. Something like, “Why me?”
Somewhere along this journey, I embraced the lie that it’s easier to claw my way out of a corner alone than it is to ask for help. Asking might imply weakness. Worse, it would mean I have to trust someone to actually want to help me. What if I cry and no one responds? What if I admit my need and someone tells me to pull up my big girl britches and deal with it? What if…
The risks are real. If I acknowledge I am incapable of freeing myself from this world’s ensnarement, if I allow myself to be vulnerable with others, if I trust someone to care enough to lend a hand through tough times, I might be disappointed by those people now & again. More likely, I will be disappointed. They’re human, just like me.
When Jesus said, “you must become as little children…” I wonder if He was pointing us to little Torins and Matthews pressed up against a wall, shrieking for a rescuer. I wonder if He doesn’t look at us and shake His head and mutter to Himself, “silly child” as He sees our plight and awaits our cry of invitation for His intervention.
Ultimately, I know Jesus is my Divine Rescuer. I trust His ability to free me from dark places my heart rolls into in this lifetime. And His sacrifice on Calvary assures final delivery from my corner of this world.
In the meantime, I don’t have to struggle alone. I’m learning to heed instruction from Galatians 6:2 commanding us, “Bear one another’s burdens…” The Greek word for burdens here is baros meaning “heaviness, trouble, crushing loads.” Life’s crushing loads are not meant to be carried alone. We were created to live in relationship, loving others, allowing them to love us in return…however imperfectly…and, yes, crying for help when our back is against the wall.