The Granddaddy in me chokes at the sight of those ugly, red spots. Her Daddy was coming home from work and she was running to have him scoop her in his arms and then . . . down she went on a rough, concrete sidewalk.
I can imagine salty tears pouring from those eyes and cascading down her soft cheeks. And I can hear the sobbing, as a moment so filled with joy and exuberance gets interrupted suddenly, and violently, by abrupt pain. How, Mommy and Daddy, did this happen to me?
I admit I can't take my eyes off this picture. She is precious and beautiful and, if you knew her, you'd testify that she's funny and full of life and has, as one put it, a "big personality." And the picture documents just one of many bumps and scrapes and bruises that will sadly mark her life as none of us makes it through this journey without a busload of hurt. Just ask Jesus. But there's something more.
I keep looking at that hand, not hers, but the bigger hand, the hand of Mom or Dad, and I take comfort and courage that she is not facing this moment alone. Nor will she face any other dreadful moment by herself. When anything - sadly something that could be far worse, injuring either body or her precious heart and spirit - comes her way, she'll have those hands to hold her, to guide her, to love her through it, whatever it may be.
Likely, I don't need to finish the story for you, but I will. When we skin our knees, bump our heads, fall down or make a mess of things, when we get hurt by life or something of our own doing or the unkindness or negligence or abuse of others - when any of the myriad badness comes our way - then we take comfort that there is a great big Hand, belonging to a great big God, holding onto us through it all. No Matter Where . . .