Able Hands

Agh!” she shouted. “Now my favorite pair of shoes is RUINED!”

I looked up as she thrust her green plastic high-heeled dress up shoe at me, its pink pompom blowing as she let out an exasperated sigh.

“Hold on, sweetie. Let me see.” I looked it over and saw that one of the plastic straps was undone, unfastened from the base of the shoe. It was an easy fix, and in less than a minute she was again “click-click-clicking” across the kitchen floor, her thanks echoing through the house.

My daughter has a very broad view of what is “ruined”. In an age of cheaply-made toys (and a household of secondhand thrift-store finds) it is not uncommon at all for her to wail from the next room, “I broke it! Now it’s ruined!” It’s a dress-up shoe that’s falling apart, or one of her purses has a hole, or a crayon has snapped in two from over-zealous coloring.

She hands it to me. What happens next is one of two things: either I confirm that yes, it is ruined…or – and I like these occasions much more – I get to say, “Oh, honey…that’s not ruined! I can fix that!”

On those occasions, Mommy’s arsenal of “fixing stuff” comes out: the glue gun, super glue, duct tape, scotch tape, staples, rubber bands. All sorts of things I have tucked here and there for such a time as this.

And usually I can fix it. (If I can’t, her daddy can.) Usually within a minute or two I can re-adhere whatever came loose…fasten whatever came unfastened….re-stick whatever came unstuck. I can fix it. Her problems these days…well, they’re pretty fixable.

I know, though, that a time is coming when Mommy and Daddy won’t be able to fix everything. A day is coming sooner than I’d like when her wailing from the next room won’t be something I can remedy with a glue gun or super strong tape. I won’t even be able to fix it with a hug or a good heart-to-heart talk. As hard as it is for me to own, most of the problems she faces in her life won’t be anything I can fix.

I know, though, that when those days come, her fate does not rest in my feeble hands. However fixable or unfixable things in her life may be, her ability to keep on going never rests on me. It’s not ultimately up to me to make things okay again. It’s not my responsibility to fix absolutely everything.

See, she rests in hands that are bigger and greater and stronger and far more capable than my own. They are the hands that first sculpted her within my womb. They are the hands that cradle this entire world and every seemingly devastating situation within it. They are the hands of my God, and He – and He alone – is in control of everything. When life hurts, He heals. When the heart is broken, He mends. When dreams are dashed, He renews hope. When nothing makes sense and things just aren’t getting any better, He comes alongside us and reassures us that somehow…someday…it’s all going to be redeemed. He’s God, and that’s what He does. It’s who He is.

I love that my little girl gets to witness what she believes are the miraculous repairs of what was broken. I love that her daddy and I are able to fix things for her and make it right again. I love the simplicity of childhood that makes the smallest things seem life-altering…the smallest acts seem heroic. In the end, though, I love most of all that my limited abilities will one day point my daughter to the One who saves the day every time.

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