During the Overwhelmed Years – the time when Hope was a toddler and the husband and I were breaking not bending, and holding onto Rhema was like trying to hold water in my hands- I found myself with the girls hurrying through a busy parking lot.
The winds blew bitter cold, and I clung to Rhema’s hand, Hope’s sleeve, a backpack, a purse, and a stack of papers from the school consult meeting.
And then, “I dropped my mitten!”
And there in the cold I did not know what to do about Hope’s mitten a few steps behind us. Because if I stopped, stooped, took my eyes off Rhema for a second and picked up the mitten, one of two events would occur: The Flop or The Bolt.
The Flop would mean spending several minutes trying to pick my unmovable child bundled up like Ralphie’s little brother from A Christmas Story off the icy pavement.
Far worse, The Bolt would mean chasing her through the parking lot and fearing for her life.
But the frugal side of me could not leave the mitten behind.
I looked Rhema in the eyes and pleaded with her, “Don’t move!”
I juggled all I was carrying, retrieved the mitten and turned back to Rhema, afraid, expecting to pay for letting go of her hand.
But there she was. Still.
With a squall of competing senses beating down, I could almost see the wings on her shoes, and yet she remained.
It was so unlike her at the time, so extraordinary, the image is etched in my mind.
Feet planted. Face in the wind.
when the world has fallen out from under me
i’ll be found in You, still standing
when the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
i’ll be found in You
~Brooke Fraser, Shadowfeet