Saturday, June 8, 2013

I have a vivid memory of watching my little ones at swim lessons.
Robin was a preschooler who couldn't swim a stroke but loved the water.  She could drown happy.  Her swim instructor  had an ear infection and sat at the side of the pool while her young pupils held onto a pole as they walked out on the diving board.  When they jumped, she pulled them in.  Of course, Robin boldly walked the plank, jumped, and in her glee, dropped the pole and sank.  When she finally bobbed up smiling broadly, her instructor was already swimming to the rescue and did not let her sink again.  No fear.
It is no secret that my husband's father, an army drill sergeant, went overboard in the discipline department, even to the point of being abusive.  Looking at old family photos, one of the sister's remembered while nine years old standing on the diving board crying with her father on the side of the pool, his belt in his hand telling her to jump in or he would whip her.  He knew she did not know how to swim.  She could barely dog paddle.  But it was no idle threat, and she knew his belt too well.  Sink or swim.  His way of teaching her to swim was sad, wrong, abusive.  However, she finally did what she was told.  When she rose to the surface, she paddled to the side thrilled to know that she not only survived but enjoyed it.  She went back to the diving board to do it over and over again with longer strokes each time across the pool.  Past the abuse remains the triumph.

We have a Father who went in first and is in the water to catch us when we make the leap of faith.  He took the beating for us...

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear,
but received the Spirit of sonship.
  And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.
The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit
 that we are God's children."
Romans 8:15-16

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