“I will make you see,” Jesus lines to the blind man, spoken by my son during the end-of the-year program when he was in MDO, the year before kindergarten. He practiced it – always in the same one-tone intensity, voice rising every second word.
Curled up in bed a few nights, he’d practice, telling me, the boy playing the blind man, he just knew he was pacticing his ”I will make you see” lines at his house, like the little boy was stealing his lines.
How do you make a 5 year old see truth sometimes?
10 years later, the tables are turned. “Why won’t you let me drive today,” he says, with snow and ice on the ground because in Tennessee, you can have your permit when your 15.
“You need to drive with Dad,” I said, my cadence rising at the sentence end – ever-so-hopefully he’d see – to give me some slack, some compassion.
“What did you use to tell me, Mom?” he’d ask in that 15-year-old way that is him – confidence, cajolery, sales and sincerity.
I stand at the counter looking at him, knowing this isn’t a conversation I cannot win: I cannot make him see.
“You’ve got to slay that monster Fear,” he says, a bit of twinkle and truth in his eyes. 3.5 boys down,1.5 to go with this driving thing – I’m graceless as a passenger in a car – particularly more so when my boys are learning to drive. Too many car accidents when I was little. Too many times watching my dad fall asleep at the wheel – well, it leaves me an unreliable passenger, an anxiety-filled passenger – not just for boys learning to drive.
He doesn’t see – none of them, do – though I’ve repented before we’ve even got in the car with each of them. “It’s not you,” I’d prepare them. “It’s my issue. Don’t you want to do this with Dad?”
But no – I guess they see me capable of slaying that monster Fear – even though I’ve taken it to God, handed it over to Him, I realize how flimsy sometimes is my ability to keep it in his hands, as I try not to frantically slam that air-break on the passenger side, try not to let my fingers clutch the side of the seat, keep my eyes focused and not straying to the side of the road – where my perception proves my undoing. Because my perception makes me think we’re going off the road – when maybe really we aren’t.
The perception from the passenger seat isn’t at all reliable – especially when I’m sitting in it.
No, my boy, he wants to make me see. He wants me to take my focus off my fear – and let him drive – this boy to man who sees right now that the private school he is attending this year is better for him academically – and he wants that, even though his heart wants to be with his other friends, in the classroom, on the soccer field. He can see that if he makes a 25 ACT score at the end of his sophomore year, he can move over.
I guess I’m going to have to put on my big girl pants, slay that monster fear – one way or another – and let him drive us to school in the mornings down the big, curvy mountain road. I will reign in the perception that we are careening toward the white-lined road edge or center yellow line.
Nobody ever said the perception from the passenger seat was true or reliable – but know I have to learn to live there for about 15 minutes a day for awhile, 2 more permits- worth.
I see the words, Father – know that you will cover me with your feathers. You will shelter me in your wings. You are faithful to your promises – that they are my armor and protection.
I see the words and hear them in my heart, “Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you” (Psalm 91-4-8)
Though I cannot see them, I believe your angels encamp about me, hedge me in front, behind and to the side (Psalm 34:7)
I thank you that you continually try to infuse my heart and spirit with your kind of love, the kind of love that expels all fear.
I know that me in all my gracelessness, and my family – I know we are worth more to you than the sparrows – and each hair on their head is precious to you.
There are a lot of things this mom gig requires me to do – these challenges – from the pain of delivery to unspeakable soarness in learning how to nurse, to being the tough guy in boundary setting, to living unconditional love – because in unconditional love – if I’m not uncomfortable – I’m not loving unconditionally – to doing things that fill me with fear I just cannot seem to stop feeling.
You tell me that I might suffer for doing what is right – even this small thing like being a passenger in a car – but that you will bless me for it. You have given me a gift – peace of mind and heart. Please show me how to activate it – to make it work – not just sit prettily in my mind – but really walk it out.
Teach me how to live not troubled or afraid – by the particular things that seem to tear at me (John 14:27) – cause you know. It’s not a surprise to you, how I feel and how I struggle with being brave sometimes. I know you are with me, championing me to “Be Strong and Courageous” (Joshua 1:9) – I cannot do it on my own Lord.
Right now, I am trying to visualize all the fear and troubles in me – as if they were gems like rubies, sapphires, topaz and diamonds – and I’m holding them in a pile cupped in my hands – and Father, I am pouring them into yours right now – giving them to you – letting you take care of them. Because I cannot – on my own, in my self – whether I am in the driver’s seat or the passenger seat.
I give it all to you – so that all I have left is you – and the strength and the courage to face my challenges with peace of mind, heart untroubled – no fear!
Thank you, Father, that when I drive down that mountain, I’m going to picture myself in the passenger seat, encompassed in a nest of feathers – all of us in a nest of feathers – you will be hovering over each of us – keeping fear and its air-break attitude away from us! and I thank you, that because of Jesus – I can come to you just like this!