by Allison Wilson Lee, Guest Blogger
Picture this: morning craft time with my two children. I’m sitting on the floor in front of our coffee table. One son sits to my left; the other sits to my right.
Paper clips, along with other bits and pieces, litter the surface of the coffee table. For the record, I didn’t put the paper clips out. My almost-five-year-old can take credit for that. This same son asks me a question; I turn to answer him. The next moment, I hear from my other side, “Oh mah!” the Korean word for “mother.”
Although my younger son Calvin did nothing but call out my name, I could hear the cry for help in his voice. When I turned to give him my attention, I saw a paper clip sticking out from his mouth. He had wedged a single wire of the clip between two of his teeth and couldn’t get it out.
As I murmur a prayer, I move into action. The first thing I try is simply to pull it out.
It did not budge.
I tried again. And again. And each time, Calvin reaches his hands up to pull my hands away.
He feels uncomfortable, is crying slightly, and must be afraid. But I can’t help him if he pushes my hands away from his mouth. So each time I reach for the paper clip, I ask him, “Calvin, will you please put your hands down?”
Finally, after I considered the horror of buckling him into his car seat with a paper clip protruding from his mouth to take him to the doctor, I laid him down in our recliner and asked him once again to put his hands down and to keep them away from my hands.
This time, I tried wiggling the paper clip before pulling on it, and the new plan worked!
With only the tiniest bit of blood on his gum, we’d fixed the problem!
As I held and cuddled my baby boy, comforting him (and myself), I thought about what was absolutely necessary in my being able to rescue him from this ordeal: his cooperation.
And not cooperation that involved any work on his part — his surrender was what was needed.
If Calvin had fought me and resisted me, I couldn’t have helped him. Or at least, it would have taken much longer to remove the foreign object, the thing that didn’t belong in him, that was hurting him.
There was an important job I needed to do to help my little boy, and I needed to have his acceptance of my work in him so that I could make him better. His trying to push me away because my help caused him discomfort only prolonged his pain.
I wonder how often my Father God feels this way about me.
In the end, I did get the paper clip out of Calvin’s mouth. And in the end, God will remove all the unwanted, interloping, painful substance from me.
And I pray that I can cooperate with Him and surrender in the process.
*Allison Lee is a lover of good books, real food, new experiences, serving others, her sons, her husband and most of all, her Savior. She's not afraid of risks, gray-hair or home schooling while wearing pajamas. You can learn more about Allison and read more of her posts on her blog, Presentmindedly.
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