i believe there’s something innate in every one of us, something that we all secretly crave but don’t articulate.
i think we all secretly desire for someone to watch over us. regardless of whether you are male or female, within each of us, we want to know that it’s not all on our shoulders. that if we fall, someone will pick us up. that if we reach the end of our resources, someone will step in and save the day.
it’s our favorite part of the movie or story. when the calvary comes. when the unexpected ally steps in. when the hero, who disappeared or was left for dead, bursts on to the scene.
even the most independent, self-reliant person desires it. for them, the reality may be that they may not have someone they can trust to do that.
or it may be that they have experienced a great loss, and they’re afraid to believe that it’s safe to rely on someone that much.
that’s my desire.
at 13, my mom died from a brain tumor. i know that i’m not the only person to have experienced a great loss in my childhood. there are many stories of people who lost someone through death, abandonment or divorce. and the reality is that while pain and loss are a part of our human existence in a fallen world, it doesn’t make it any easier to endure.
so when that happened, i built a solid, internal wall. i was never going to let anyone get that close to me again. i was never going to hurt that much again. if anything, i would become the protector. i would be the one to watch over others. but i wouldn’t have that expectation of another in my life.
that was something others could experience, but i would never allow myself to be that vulnerable.
but that doesn’t mean that desire ever went away. no matter how much i have tried to ignore it, or even suppress it, i still want someone to watch over me.
and as i grow older, there’s a new dimension to all of that. i have people to watch over—my wife, my kids, people who work with me, family, friends. while still needing that in my own life.
there’s a desire within this man to sometimes be a child.
there’s a desire within this man to have someone nurturing me, taking care of me.
and i believe that desire is God-given.
i believe that desire points to my need for a heavenly Father.
a friend pointed this out in a Bible study a few years ago, and it’s so true—for adults, of all the roles we fulfill in a typical day, the one that is most removed from our daily demands and responsibilities is “child.” i’m 45. there aren’t many childlike moments in my day.
well, maybe when i don’t get my way.
but the thing that most fascinates me is that Jesus chose to be a child. He chose to make Himself vulnerable to two imperfect people who had never been parents before, and had been married for an extremely short time.
He chose to have someone watch over Him.
all so He could bridge the gap between us and God caused by humanity’s fallen state, and draw close to each one of us to watch over us.
and He also came to be a living, breathing example of who God is, and how we should live.
so, when i think about the baby Jesus (aside from the Ricky Bobby quote that comes instantly to mind), i think about the vulnerability and the trust that Jesus demonstrated, all for a bigger purpose.
the things that i long for, but the things i guard myself against.
and maybe that’s what “being a child” might look like in my life.
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image courtesy of flickr.com/creative commons/by nan palmero