When I was in college, I had a professor who told us a story to illustrate how children see the world. He talked about the big sewer grates on St. George Street in St. Augustine, Florida, where Flagler College is located. He saw a small boy, probably about three or four, and the child was walking with his father. The boy stopped fearfully in front of one of the huge grates and held tight to his father’s hand.
“Daddy,” he asked, “what if I fall down in there?”
The professor stopped here and said, “It doesn’t matter that physically the boy is too big to fall throught the grate. His kind obviously can’t comprehend that. The father gave a perfect answer to this important question.”
“If you fell down in there, I’d come in and get you,” he said, and his son relaxed and felt it was safe to go on.
I recalled this story at Midnight Mass. Father K was talking about how God knew Man was in trouble, and He came for us – to save us. He is like the father on St. George Street, who calmed his son with the knowledge that he would save him if he were in trouble.
How God is like that with us!! Right from the Fall, God promised that Someone would come for us. Someone would come in and get us. All through the Old Testament, He makes this known again and again. “I’m coming down there to get you. Don’t be afraid. Trust Me. I’m coming!”
This lesson should not be left in the past, though. When we’re scared or on trouble, we must remember that God will come down and get us. He will lift us up. He will sustain us. He will help, even when we can’t understand what He’s doing.
Think about the boy. He trusted his father, but if he fell down the grate, he would be unable to see what measures his father was taking to get ready to come after him. And if the boy was crying loudly for help, it’s also likely he wouldn’t be able to hear his father calling down comforting words to him.
This is so much like when we pray for help from our Father in Heaven! We are so busy crying. We can’t hear God answering us, trying to calm us. We do not trust Him enough.
This is a big lesson for me. I must learn to trust Him more. I must learn to listen for His comforting words while I wait for hte help that comes. Perfect help at the perfect time. HIS time. Not my own.
I have to remind myself that if I fall down in there, He will come down and get me.