We’re in Michigan. On our boat. On our favorite lake. It’s familiar here. The variegated blues. The soft white sand. We come every summer. We have, since my belly was round with baby when our marriage was young and small.
But today the calm, deep blue seems ominous. It feels dark. Cold.
Different than before, though the sun shines bright.
Two of the boys are on a tube, and Lonny is driving fast. The lake opens in a gash. It separates to a V and the water curls back, frothy and high. The boys skim over the water in the center of the V. I’m afraid they’ll come loose. I worry their arms will tire. That another boater won’t see them because it’s Sunday and the lake is dotted hard with boats bigger and faster than ours and who would see only the glimmer of two blond heads, bobbing in the water, if they’re thrown far?
We’ve done this a hundred times. It’s easy fun and now I’m the only one who frets. But since the cave, even the familiar presents potential harm. I don’t want to drown in this fear. I want thanksgiving to be the praise that lifts me out. But I’m stuck.
Stuck in the mire.
I watch from the back of the boat. I grip the sides of my own seat, as if holding tight will keep them safe.
I’m sorry, God. I’m sorry I’m scared.
And the reminder comes again. Soft as water laps at the sand. Bright as the sun that’s set in the blue. A gentle hemming. He goes before my children, and He goes behind them, too. And I’m right in the center, of His going before, His coming behind.
He’s hemming me in. Not condemning me, for being afraid, I know, because His reminders are merciful and kind. But he’s hemming. Them. Me.Into His care. With slow, sweet stitches. Making a promise, building a trust,
that I hope,
will become the faith-fabric of my life.
Lord, thank you for being merciful when I’m afraid. And thank you for surrounding me with your care. For the hemming. May it last as long as my days…