I had a bout of chicken pox.
The childhood sickness that seems to be a rite of passage for elementary age children. After a few days out of school and away from the fort wars of my neighborhood friends I was getting stir crazy. There are only so many He-Man reruns you can reasonably stomach, even as a five-year old.
My childhood neighborhood was a boy’s utopia. Wooded lots to play cowboys and Indians (or in some cases, Germans and Allies). Swimming pools to play Marco Polo. Open front yards to play tackle football. Even a small bayou fishing dock with a resident gator. Plenty of other children to partake in all manner of mischief.
They continued the fun without me.
So I planned my great escape.
Out the door when mom was fixing lunch and on to my bike (my training wheels may have still been on). Down the short road with my adulating friends towards our cul-de-sac. My master minding only took me to our cul-de-sac, I didn’t know what was supposed to happen from there.
Within minutes, Mom caught her prodigal son. She laughed about it.
I wonder what God thinks of His wandering children. Sickly little kids plotting their intricate schemes, to fly out into the world and join the fun. We may be gone for a couple of minutes, impressing the world with our rebellion and mad training wheel skills.
But we’ve never left His cul-de-sac. He’s right there, chasing us down with a smile.
He’s especially a Father to the sickly stumbling schemers. His affections burn unchanged by their fickle changes of heart. It’s never based on their fledgling performance but their free position as His kids.
We can keep imagining Him as an angry mall cop with a mace trigger finger, or see Him as He revealed Himself to be: An intimate Dad who is working the best out for His adopted sons and daughters.
How much does a parent love their sick child?
We can try to run from that love, but we can never hide.