Miranda asked a simple question. “Where is Kasen?” I didn’t know. We had been home for a few hours from our vacation and were relaxing on the floor of the living room. Kasen had been right there with us just minutes before. We yelled for him. . . No answer or any noises from other parts of the house. We got up and started looking. There are only a couple of places he could be – the living room, the kitchen, his room, our room. (He can’t open doors yet and we keep the rest of them closed.) In a matter of seconds we had searched the whole house – panic was quick to follow. Miranda and I both were yelling his name. I checked behind the closed doors. And then the closets. Fear escalated. I remembered a story of a friend who had climbed in a trunk (Caylin Brashear) and I checked our trunk – then Kasen’s toybox. Miranda was screaming with a voice I had never heard. Shrieks. Her breathing had an unnerving “ohhh. . .” sound. She met me in the hall and screamed, “the pool.” Kasen loves the “poo” – maybe he could be there?.?. but logically, he couldn’t get the back door open. Could someone have come in the house and taken him? Could he have somehow gotten a door open? My mind raced. I was desperate. . .I ran outside slamming my face into the patio door. No. . .he wasn’t in the pool. . . Heart racing, I ran back inside.
Miranda was holding him and yelling to me that she found him. Evidently, he had been laying in his bed the whole time with his covers over his head. We had each been in his room multiple time during those moments. He likes to take Kesleigh’s binky and then run and hide getting his little oral fix ’cause he knows he’s not allowed to have one. Evidently, that’s what he had done and probably fallen asleep. Or maybe he didn’t answer our calls ’cause he was hiding.
Either way, it couldn’t have been more than 3 minutes total. But it was enough. Enough to realize how quickly things can go downhill. Enough to realize how great our love for our children is and how quickly it can turn into fear. This kind of experience changes a man.
As I look back on it I wonder, “Where was my faith during these moments? What happened to trusting in the Lord? Why did I panic so quickly?” I am a weak man. Sinful. Even at my best, I am still very frail. I need God.
Prayer: Lord, take care of my children. You have given them to me for a few years and I truly want to be a good steward. I want to be a great father and a good example. I want to protect them. I want to represent You to them. All of these things are noble thoughts, but the bottom line is that I can’t do any of these things near as well as You. Lord, cover them with Yourself. Protect them when I fail them. Hold them close and keep them safe. Lord, in the same moment that I pray for their protection, I also pray that You will ultimately use them in mighty ways. May they be arrows (Psalm 127) that break into enemy territory taking ground for Your kingdom. May they understand You and the strength they have in You so well that they are willing to follow You into situations that may even seem dangerous to others. May they be in Your hands at all times, with or without me, in every situation – that’s the safest place to be. AMEN.
Ever seen a movie or tv show where a drowning victim is discovered? You know that “dead man’s float?” Face down. Arms raised. Knees down. Can you picture it? That’s what Kasen (my 18-month-old son) looked like Saturday.
We were at the pool with his cousins Reid and Kallie. Kasen and Reid were playing in the kiddie pool and Reid playfully pushed Kasen. He fell in face first and did that dead man’s float. My son was facedown in the water with his arms bobbing above his head. I can still see his haor floating in the water beside his head. It couldn’t have been more than a second before Jared (Reid’s dad and Kasen’s uncle) and I were scooping him back up, but that image will be engraved in my mind forever.
After it was all over, Kasen just coughed once and wiped his face (like he does when he’s in the bathtub) like nothing had happened. He was fine, but daddy was changed. Daddy’s heart was racing. Mommy’s too. She had been sitting on the side of the pool and witnessed the whole thing too.
Anyway, all this got me to thinkin’. Kasen was clueless that his life had been threatened. (By the way, thank you God for that “hold your breath” instinct You placed in kids.) I wonder how many times I’ve been clueless to the real dangers in my life? How many times has God saved me from some unknown threat?
Prayer: Thank you God for Your protection – for the times when I don’t even realize You’ve gotten involved. For the times You’ve saved me from myself or some other unknown danger. Thank You for Kasen and for protecting Him Saturday. Help me to be a father who will in every way possible reflect You and Your character to my children. Allow me to protect them and to recognize that it’s truly a reflection of You and Your goodness – Your power. It’s the strength that You have given to me that allows that to happen. I truly want to honor You in all that I do. Help me.
When Miranda and I first started dating, she bought me a dog. I named him Peanut. At that time Miranda was living with some friends of ours. When I would go visit her, I would bring Peanut and we’d go out together to walk him. Mostly we just wanted to be together and talk, but Peanut was a good excuse for us to have this time together. Anyway, I’d say that these times of walking together are part of the reason we fell in love. We had some incredible conversations as we’d walk through the neighborhood. We’d talk about our history, our future dreams, our ideas about life – everything. Those were incredible days and incredible conversations. Anyway, after doing this for a few months, we kind of found this one special place where we could sit down and talk and sometimes we’d dance. It was a courtyard for the neighborhood pool. We’d tie peanut to the fence or whatever would could and then we’d dance out under the stars to the music in our hearts and we’d talk and dance some more.
One night, it was a perfect night. Beautiful sky. A subtle breeze. Quiet enough to dance to the music of the crickets (OK – now I’m getting cheesy.) Anyway, I tied Peanut up as normal to a water faucet that was sticking out of the ground. As we danced, he pulled one too many times and soon we were dancing under a 20 foot fountain of water. I figured he had somehow turned the pipe so that it came unscrewed so I tried to screw it back in, but realized in the process that the pipe was totally broken. There was nothing to be done except turn the water off, but I didn’t know where the valve was. Miranda, Peanut, and I began strolling back to our friend’s house thinking we’d call someone when we got there.
Then, we hear a man screaming at us, “You’re just gonna leave??!! That’s right. . . . run away!!” I turned and went back – the man was a neighborhood watch guy who thought we had done it one purpose. I explained what had happened and he knew where the valve was and everything turned out fine.
Anyway, there’s no real lesson to this story – it was just a funny thing that happened when Miranda and I were dating.
Well, maybe there is a lesson – don’t tie your dog to a water faucet!
Yep – in case you haven’t heard, cell phones don’t work too well in swimming pools. Wednesday, I got thrown into the pool at Bible Study with my cell phone in my pocket. Let’s just say, that if you had looked closely, you might have seen a little steam come off of me. We dried the phone out (along with all the other stuff I had on my wallet) but I couldn’t get it to work again. The next day, I went back to Cingular and everyone in the store had a good laugh at my expense, but I was able to get an upgrade. Now I have the new “razor” phone. Yeah! I can talk to you guys this summer.