In My Father's Arms
by Shari England
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IN MY FATHER’S ARMS
Nothing is more comforting than to feel the love and security of being wrapped up in your father’s arms. One memory stands out more vividly in my mind than the others-
The winters we had as children were especially bitter. As always, kids and snow just seem to go together. With six kids, that’s a lot of gloves to keep dried out and ready for the next wintry venture. Many times, in place of gloves, we would layer thick socks over our hands.
On this day, my brothers and sister and I were playing in the snow-filled sand box. They began to get cold, and decided to go inside. Not I. I was willing to tough it out. After all, I was six. I was so absorbed in my play and determined to finish the “snow castle” I had started, I hadn’t noticed that the socks/gloves were soaking wet. The outer layer was not only wet, but was now also heavy with little frozen pieces clinging to the ends and dangling inches past my fingertips. Having become quite cumbersome in the progress of my masterpiece, I removed the socks from my hands.
How much better it seemed to not be burdened now by such a bothersome article of clothing. How much more freedom I felt I had now in my endeavor. But it wasn't long before I began to notice.... I could barely move my fingers. It hurt to even try and bend them. They were so numb I couldn’t even get my “gloves” back on. In my stubbornness, I had waited too long. I began to experience intense pain in my throbbing fingers as an overwhelming feeling of helplessness consumed me. I felt powerless as I stared at frozen hands
Then, I saw him! My rescuer! My fixer of everything! My knight in dirty cowboy boots! My Daddy! I immediately burst into tears. “Daddy!” I cried. “My hands hurt so bad!”
He didn’t scold me for staying out too long. He didn’t even tell me how foolish I was for taking my gloves off. The look in his eyes was that of compassion and tenderness. He scooped me up into his arms, and carried me inside. The fire was roaring in the old living room stove. Sitting there together in front of the fire, he placed my hands in his, held them as close as he could to the warmth, and then closed his hands around mine. He repeated this several times until slowly I began to feel “life” come back into my hands. The painful throbbing had stopped, as I tested my fingers, opening....and then closing them, again and again…….
Dad—I wish I could say that I learned my lesson that day in the sandbox, but there would be other times when in my stubbornness, I caused myself to suffer. All of which I know caused you to suffer too. And I know that while you couldn’t possibly fix everything—it sure seemed like you could! Whether it was replacing a doll’s arm, fixing my glasses, or mending a broken high heel—it seemed you could literally fix anything. I was always fascinated at your creativity. Thank you for sharing that with me.
I’ve always felt that your greatest strengths were your tenderness and gentleness. The callused hands that toiled unceasingly around the farm gingerly buckled my shoes and tied my bows on Sunday mornings. Those seemingly unimportant things didn’t go unnoticed.
But Dad, the greatest thing that you showed me that day in the sandbox and on many other days, was not only the love of my father, but the love of our heavenly Father. I truly believe there are many who cannot comprehend the love of our heavenly Father, because they did not feel the love of an earthly father. Thank you for demonstrating that love to me, thus giving me a deeper, richer understanding of the One I call Father, my Rescuer, Fixer of everything, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Shari England , 6/05
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