As I mentioned in the previous post, we did a fair amount of swimming and snorkeling on our vacation. Our kids are part fish, being river rats and all, so this was no surprise.
Our first snorkeling venture was not a smooth one, however. As much fun as we had jumping into the river, the freezing water and lack of visibility made our little Bug very nervous. The mangrove trees were overpowering, the water was dark, and the designated swimming path was quite narrow. Little One was not happy at all, and was ready to be done before we even started.
When she refused to be comforted or cajoled into embarking on this new adventure, her daddy swam over and placed her on his back. As you can see by her expression, she tolerated it….just barely. Patiently, he swam at a steady pace, despite the challenge of a little passenger. She looked so adorable, perched like a tiny turtle on his back with her blue goggles, pink life vest and serious expression.
About halfway down the canote ( the name for the part freshwater, part saltwater rivers that run from inland to the lagoons), Gregg said he felt her begin to relax a little. Her death grip loosened, and she sat more comfortably. He felt bad that she was missing out on the action, since her view was limited to trees and the water line, and the fish and other creatures were down below. So, he raised his head and explained to her that they were going to implement a system. He would swim on as she rode, looking below for interesting things to show her. When he saw something, he would raise his hand on the side she was to look, and she could duck her face into the water to see the wonders underneath.
I got to witness their teamwork in action as they came down the final stretch into the lagoon. The boys and I had reached the end faster and were waiting on them to catch up. I stood watching, along with a fair number of other guests and tourists, as the pair of them swam into sight. Suddenly, Gregg raised his left arm, finger pointing up. Without changing expression or pausing for more than a quick breath, Emry leaned over and stuck her face in the water on the side of his raised hand. After a few seconds, she sat back up to continue her journey, repeating the process several more times to either side as directed.
It was one of the most precious things I’ve ever seen in my life.
I had tears in my eyes even as I laughed – as did more than a few others who witnessed this display of a nurturing father and trusting child.
Thinking on it later, I couldn’t help but contemplate on what a great literal representation of God’s love this anecdote is.
Matthew 11:28-29 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
It’s such a simple, yet profound concept, isn’t it?
When we’re tired, or scared, or can’t see clearly enough, all we have to do is reach for Father, and He will carry us.
He doesn’t mind a bit. We’re not too heavy for him. He knows the way, and will get us there safely. It’s what He does.
And when we begin to relax, when we finally figure out that He’s got us and it’s all under control, He’ll know we’re ready for His signal. He’ll start giving us a sign or two, here or there.
He’ll point out when and where we need to look, because He doesn’t want us to miss the good stuff.
He’s all about letting us in on the good stuff. We just have to trust Him, then watch for His signal and look where He points.
Solidarity, sisters. There’s no shame in hitching a ride.