It’s not that I was surprised to be inspired. I was, after all, in church. It wasn’t so much the location of the inspiration as it was the source.
We had all just stood up. The homily was over and we were getting ready to profess our faith. I know I should have been focusing on the stream of words coming out of my mouth, but as too often happens, I allowed my wavering attention span to wander around, taking my focus with it until landing on the family a couple of pews in front of me.
And then I saw it.
A young girl stood next to her father, leaning into him as if her own body could not support her light weight. He continued to recite his profession of faith.
And that's when it happened.
Somewhere before our petition of prayers, the little girl must have decided the support from the lean wasn't enough, as she instinctively held her arms up to her daddy who picked her up without a moment’s hesitation.
The reason this caught my attention was that she appeared too old to be held. I wouldn’t have paid attention if she were three or under –but this little girl seemed years beyond the holding stage, and yet her father picked her up the moment she asked.
Without any prodding or pleading, he picked up his daughter and held her for the rest of the standing portion of the service. Contented, she nuzzled her head on his shoulder with a look of peace that we adults just can’t mimic.
It was that simple. She asked to be held and her daddy held her. And even though I was surprised by the request being made at her age, it somehow looked so right.
And of course, it made me think.
Why do we too often equate losing our ability to ask for help with losing our youth?
Many times in life we might find ourselves growing weary, hoping for someone to lean on.
But we’re too big, aren’t we? Shouldn’t we find a way to handle it all on our own?
Life would be so much simpler if we could all remember no matter how old or self-sufficient we think we are, we are still God’s children. Like the daddy in church, God is always there for us to lean on.
And when we need more than leaning for support, how happy it must make our Father if we could only remember to instinctively raise our arms to Him and ask to be held. For it is only in our Father’s arms that we might find the true peace of a contented child.