I cried at the county fair tonight. And then laughed at my silly tears. Hormones, I said as I shrugged to my husband and shifted the sleeping infant in a carrier on my chest. We were watching the Terror of Vikings ride-- that huge long boat that goes back and forth like a giant glider swing. When I was a kid, it was called the Banana Boat. Terror of Vikings sounds much cooler and more fitting. But I digress. On the very tip of the boat, the part that goes the highest, sat a young boy and his dad. The boy's face held a mix of fear and excitement as the swing went higher and higher. The dad's arm was draped around the boy and held his son tighter each giant swing back and forth, a gentle smile on his face as he enjoyed the ride with his son. The boy began to relax and laugh with delight despite (or because of?) the height and speed of the ride.
And that's when the tears came. There was something so incredibly beautiful about seeing the peace and security that come from a loving, protective father. It was a small moment that spoke of a larger truth. In a world of absent or dysfunctional fatherhood, seeing this sweet cameo of true fatherly love and protection, seeing the confidence and joy it brought to the son, made my heart swell with how good and right the picture was.
It was also a glimpse of the great love our Heavenly Father has for us. This all-powerful Father who allows us on the ups and downs of life because He's right there beside us. He holds us tightly and wants us to trust Him and His protection. Only through leaning on Him can we truly begin to relax and see the view.
His arm is around you and holds you safely. Open your eyes, throw up your hands, and enjoy the ride.