She is sitting on the toilet bowl, naked and crying.
Mummy is about to help her take a bath, but mummy is angry and upset.
She scored 98 on her math test – her first less than perfect score – and all is not right in her little world. All is simply not right in her seven year old mind.
She is upset that mummy is upset. Mummy is worried, and worry frightens her. Maybe mummy is worried not doing well in school will cost her her future. She made a careless mistake she shouldn’t have made, and sometimes in life there is no room for mistakes.
The tears are falling fast. Her hands swipe at them clumsily in between sobs. She wants to curl up in a corner. She is utterly terrified and shaking her head.
But someone is there. His name is Jesus.
He seems to be reaching out a hand.
Who is this man? Is He trustworthy? How can I trust that He will not hurt me?
The girl curls back, even further, hugging herself. The head shaking intensifies.
NO! DON’T COME NEAR! She wants to scream. NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOO!
But the man is there, his hand still outstretched.
He is saying something that sounds like "Come over here. You’ll be safe here."
Really? She asks.
Really really? Or fake really?
Really forever really? Or really change-your-mind-when-bad-things-happen really?
Really no-matter-what-I-find-out really? Or really until I find out you’ve been a naughty girl?
She asks the question over and over and over, over and over and over.
Over. And over. And over.
He waits. He seems to carry with him a real peace. No…not seems. He does. He carries a real peace, she decides.
She starts to relax.
Still eyeing the man suspiciously though.
She reaches out, slowly and he takes her hand.
He tries to hold her. She sits in his lap and he puts his arms around –
SHE SPRINGS UP AND RUNS!!!! A split second change of mind: trust is too terrifying.
But she wants to trust. She does not and cannot escape from that desire.
The man is still there, and she inches back toward him tentatively.
The waiting game goes on forever, but so does his patience, it seems.
His patience is gonna run out any minute now, she thinks. Any minute now. Oh no. This trust thing isn’t gonna work for me.
But he confirms what her heart suspects to be true: there is someone in this world who is trustworthy. It is the person who created trust.
After what seems like hours, her ears begin to tune in to the gentle whispers.
Making mistakes is OK. Is that true, really?
There is no need for anyone to be angry or upset. Oh, oh, oh…she begins to see. Making mistakes is OK. 98 is OK.
BUT HOW ABOUT FAILING? WHAT IF I FAIL? WHAT ABOUT 48 MARKS?
He tells the seven-year old, hush…it is all OK.
The truth is, nothing terrible happened and mummy doesn’t need to be distressed, And neither does she. Nobody needs to be sad or frightened or distressed in that moment.
It comes as a revelation and her eyes grow large. Oh my goodness, it is true. Things are OK. She didn’t add up the numbers properly, that’s all. Mummy still loves her, and the sky is not about to fall.
And she has a Better Daddy, who doesn’t get flustered. Better Daddy doesn’t get frightened or frustrated. He’s not about to lose control, he doesn’t lose control, and he doesn’t need her to worry about him losing it.
Hold me, Jesus. Hold me tight, and don’t let me go.
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32