this morning i arrived at work to the voice of the two-year old grandson of my coworker. my office is next to hers. it had been a while since i’d seen him. it was hilarious to watch him wander through all the offices (mostly empty) and to hear his little voice. he kept calling one of the fish in our tank darla, maybe it was stella. i had a hard time deciphering his chatter.
he quickly learned my name and wasted no time in repeating it as he peaked around the corner.
“hi robin!” his little face, waiting for my reaction. he’d giggle at the faces i’d make and then run away. just to come back two seconds later with another “hi robin!”
i’ve been wearing a
nerd wrist brace for possible tendonitis (possibly brought on by, wait for it… my iphone usage.) he worriedly asked about my owie and promptly gave it a kiss.
still clinging to me he inspected my random knickknacks. specifically my washington national’s mr. potato head. inspection complete he lurched forward with all of his might, pulling forcefully on my two fingers.
“come on robin.” he prodded.
his head turned and his confused eyes didn’t seem to register why his strength wasn’t moving me from my seat. it took quite a bit of encouragement for him to stop holding my hand. when it came time for him to leave he hugged me so tightly.
it made me think of a different kind of holding. it’s a holding my friend reminded me of this week.
for i the lord thy god will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not; i will help thee (isaiah 41:13).
i love the 14th chapter of matthew.
it opens tragically with the beheading of john the baptist. christ attempts to grieve for his cousin but is unable to find solace. he is followed and surrounded by crowds, needing him. the apostles would have them sent away but jesus instead has compassion and ministers to others during his time of need. he miraculously feeds the multitudes and then manages to send them and the apostles away.
it is only then, after he has given of himself, that he is able to suffer and pray alone.
and then comes my favorite part – as christ walks on the water toward his disciples, peter longs to leave the ship and walk out to his master.
when christ beckons him to come, peter walks on water.
i think we are too quick to reprimand peter for what happens next – who of us would be willing to step onto water when christ says, “come?”
the waves were boisterous the entire time. it is only when peter focuses on the waves that he fears them. and begins to sink. that is when jesus immediately stretches forth his arm and catches him.
both the verse from isaiah and this account in matthew pack powerful imagery.
i’d like to think god holding my hand or christ embracing me feels something close to that little guy squeezing my fingertips this morning. confident. commanding. loving. safe.