I watched with clenched fists and pounding heart.
Our young foster son, only 17-months at the time wobbled on chubby little legs.
The goose egg on his head was still protruding and very purple… and green and yellow.
The day before while trying his hand at toddling, he had toddled face first off a two-inch step on the porch and landed head long on a stone in the garden.
I had rushed to stop him, I wasn’t quick enough. I wanted to protect him, I had the best of intentions and I had failed him. Alas, he was oblivious to the danger and ready to try it again.
Fully confident in his abilities he stood and took three steps and fell.
Stood, took two steps and fell.
Stood and took eight steps, stopped looked at me and smiled and clapped.
Days later, the wound on his head was gone and he was fully upright and mobile.
A month later I looked out the kitchen window and saw him running across the backyard chasing a kitten, squealing with delight.
A process began from the time he rolled over for the first time that brought us to this moment where he can run. I stood and watched the tow-headed angel boy, on confident feet sprint about the yard.
He stopped at a make-shift sidewalk chalk drawing of a hopscotch grid our youngest daughter had drawn earlier in the day. He studied the grid and then… kind of sort of – hopped.
His thick toddler feet didn’t lift.
He tried again.
Knees bent he hefted his body upward.
He stepped to the next square and repeated the non-hopping process. Then the next and the next. When he reached the end of the hand-drawn lattice, he clapped and returned to the top to do it again.
Most recently my husband and I were faced with an opportunity neither of us were fully confident of the outcome. On wobbly legs we prayed and stewed.
Faith of the mustard seed?
The what-ifs and the then what’s had us up nights.
The fall was more than a couple of inches, the wound?
And I said “Let’s do it! Let’s take a leap of faith!”
Still we weren’t sure of the outcome. The day before we would need to decide I headed out for a walk on our ranch. I prayed out loud, “Lord, show us what to do. It’s a leap of faith, and I am afraid of heights.”
The image of our foster love “not hopping” flashed in my mind. The delight I took in his confidence, his willingness to try again, flooded me with adoration.
I loved the security he felt.
I grinned at the bravery that had him convinced, in spite of a terrible fall, he kept on trying. Fully confident that if he tumbled… I’d come running.
I would be there to scoop him up, bandage his wounds, and comfort him.
Most importantly, he believed he should go for it.
It occurred to me we weren’t taking a leap of faith, but a hop of hope.
Hope for something that looked like progress and felt like an improvement.
And if we failed?
Our Father in heaven, who loves and leads us would come running. He would teach us gently and guide us in wisdom. I pictured myself placing my trusting hand in His and taking a step, then another… and another.
I gently toddle, barely hop and hope to eventually leap bravely into the unknown.
Faith of a mustard seed… hops of hope, fully confident my Lord is for me and right when and where I need Him the very most.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you. Luke 17:5-6