“It happened to me.
I never thought it would happen to me.”
“It happened to me today.”
These were the words of my daughter on a recent telephone call to me.
She’d lost one of her children in a store.
If you’ve ever had this happen to you, you know how very scary it is.
She had her youngest child snuggled and strapped to her.
Her oldest child was in the toy section with her as it was his turn to pick out a new toy, having filled up his sticker chart from home.
Her two-year- old had only moments ago been at her side.
She looked up and he was suddenly gone.
She quickly grabbed the two that she had and went in search of her missing child.
It seemed all the worse as she looked down aisle upon aisle upon aisle and still didn’t see him.
He had actually just stepped over one aisle to a different toy section that intrigued him.
My daughter had gone the opposite way in search of him and that made the moments seem like an eternity in finding him.
When she finally located him, he was fixated on a “toy”.
She asked him why he had left her side and tried to explain how dangerous that had been. His response was only “toy” as he pointed and stared in the direction of his new fixation.
She tried to explain again and again, but she could tell she wasn’t really getting the message conveyed to him that she wanted conveyed.
He couldn’t tell her at the time just what he had done wrong. All he could see was the “toy”.
They came to visit me the next day and I tried to take it a bit further.
I told my two-year-old grandson that I heard how scared mommy had been and how she was almost crying. That somehow reached his heart a little more. His eyes widened as I explained how terrified she had been and how we don’t ever ever ever want to lose him. We want him to be with us forever and ever.
We went on to have a fun day together playing and jumping and creating all sorts of fun together. I didn’t bring up the topic again.
Later that evening, I was giving him a bath. It was just the two of us in the room. I asked him if he could tell me just what had happened at the store the other day. In his two-year- old way, he said “mommy scared”…”cry”….
I said “Yes”, and why was mommy so scared and almost crying?
He was able to verbalize, “I went into another toy section”.
Those were his words, not mine.
I felt relief (as did his mother) as I knew we had made some sort of breakthrough in his understanding.
That’s when it dawned on me that I am that two-year-old sometimes.
I see something that intrigues me, distracts me…”toy”.
I get my eyes fixated and I take the necessary steps toward it.
God, my Father, sees me and He’s gently and lovingly saying…
“don’t go there”, “don’t walk away from my side”
“there are strangers out there”, “stay close”.
He loves me.
He loves you.
He desires to have us close, clinging to his side.
He desires to protect us and to bring us good and not evil.
His heart breaks when we take those steps into areas that He knows will only cause us harm and grief.
May we take our eyes off the “toy” and place them correctly on the One who loves us so much that He personally died for us
To save us.
“I cling to you; your right hand upholds me”
“I hate those who cling to worthless idols; as for me, I trust in the Lord”
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”