She doesn’t like hats. I try to put them on her little moppet head. She pulls them off. I tell her she needs a hat to keep the sun off. She ignores me and chews on her hat. I give up and put a different hat on her head, tying it quickly below a baby double chin.
Winnie drops the chewy hat and begins her chapeau tug, but I quickly say, “Bye Bye!” And open the back door to…wonder! Winnie is entranced.
Every morning I walk with my granddaughter, Winnie Laurie. Haha! She’s my little wiggling namesake! Walks with Winnie are my lifeline, as well as my life lesson these days.. More on that later.
Winnie forgets her annoyance with her hat as she reaches for everything the outside offers. Weeds! Rocks! Walkways! Flowers! Ants! Spiders!
Our walk becomes a dance as this 64 year-old Gran juggles the squirmy adventurer. Winnie flops around because she’d much rather be down in the dirt pulling up grass than in my arms. Too bad. I have to keep Winnie safe.
Winnie is an explorer, but she hasn’t yet learned what can hurt her. I’m her grandma protector and I take my job seriously.
When I walk with Winnie (wiggling all the way) I think of how we squirm in God’s arms sometimes. Sometimes we yank off God’s protective covering and venture out into worldly things which, truth-be-told, eventually hurt us.
But…God. God patiently pulls us back into His arms. Like Gran, He is our protector.
Winnie is preoccupied with looking down at the rocks and dirt below us. She struggles to get out of my arms. It seems like it’d be fun to play down there. Down down down is Winnie’s focus.
“Look, Winnie!” I say, pointing to a hawk circling high above the field. Winnie looks up. Her sparkling brown eyes light up when she sees the hawk swoop and the soar against the bright blue sky.
“Baw Baw Baw Bwop!” Winnie says as she giggles and waves at the hawk. I’m happy to introduce Winnie to the wonder of looking up.
I’ve been doing a lot of looking down lately. I’ve been digging in the dirt of remorse, struggling in the gravel of grief.
“Look UP!” God catches me off guard. I look up at the gifts God gives me every single day. Breath. Life. Hope. Joy. Wiggling Winnie is one of my joys.
My walk with Winnie is almost over. We climb the hill toward home. For Winnie, it’s time to rest. She will snuggle a bit and then drift off to sleep in her safe little sleeper sack under the watchful eyes of her parents.
Maybe Gran needs to rest, too. It’s time to stop struggling and straining with life’s disappointments. It’s time to look up, time to watch for wonder. It’s also time to snuggle in under the watchful eye of a patient Heavenly Father.
I’m doing that right now…and looking forward to my next walk with Winnie.