Sunday, October 11, 2015

He Ain't Heavy

This morning in church I saw a sight I would never have believed. As service was about to begin in my non-denominational church, a man walked in with a large child across his shoulders. At first glance, I thought perhaps they were joking around, and that the dad would place the child down after a few giggles.

We all stood to our feet as the band came out onto the stage, the first chords of music punctuating the air, and the wonderful feel of community and oneness. The father chose to stand two rows in front of me, and the child remained across his shoulders. What on earth? I began thinking. Then I saw the child had bare feet and had an I-pad of some sort clutched in her hands. She was older, perhaps ten or so. As the music progressed, the father adjusted her in his arms, never losing grip of this large child over his shoulders as her hands played across the I-pad.

In my judgmental mind, I thought it was the most insane sight I'd ever seen. Then realization dawned on me finally of the situation. This child was handicapped. And the father never blinked an eye, stood with the rest of the congregation swaying back and forth in a soothing motion to the music for his child as he readjusted her weight only a few times as he kept her across his back.

Wow, I thought, he must be one strong man. His neck and arms were heavily corded with muscles. No wonder, I thought again, he must do this all the time. I felt drawn to watching this scenario as the music played on. I found myself offering prayers for this man and the burden he literally shouldered.

When the music had finished and it was time to welcome one another with a greeting, this man didn't hesitate to turn in all directions to say good morning to those of us who were seated near him. He had a smile on his face that I'll never forget.

Even when we sat, the father took his child to him, placing her in front of him this time, cradling her throughout the service, occasionally soothing her with his body language.

Wow, Lord, I thought. Is this how you care for us? You are known as the Good Shepherd. You are known to take care of us, your flock. You are known to go back for that one stray lamb who wanders from the fold every so often.

It hit me how great the love of our God is for us. If a man can love his handicapped child so much that he puts his own comfort aside and can bodily carry her across his shoulders, how much greater is the love of our Heavenly Father who carries our weight and burdens across His?

Think about it friends. We serve a most awesome, powerful God. A God that adores us and carries us when we need it most. Let's let Him into our hearts. Let's not miss the beckon of His hands when it's time for Him to pick us up and put us onto His shoulders.