June 26, 2009

Emmaus Walk / Debra Tomaselli

Depending on our heavenly Father in times of need

Debra Tomaselli“I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps 34:4).

As I walked along the beach, colorful umbrellas, glistening white sand and a cloudless blue sky announced that summer was in full swing.

The sounds of laughter, portable radios and chatter mingled with the rhythmic crash of the ocean’s waves.

Suddenly, I noticed a tanned young man walking toward the ocean. Behind him skipped a toddler, clad in a bright pink swimsuit and a sunhat. Her blond pigtails bounced with each step.

When the water washed around her toes, she screamed in fear, reached out to him, and yelled “Daddy!”

Instantly, the young man turned, scooped her into his arms, raised her to safety and consoled her.

As I continued my morning stroll, I thought about the carefree and happy times I’ve spent following my heavenly Father. I also remembered a time when frightening circumstances, like the waves lapping around the girl’s feet, created fear in me.

We had just moved into a new neighborhood when Dad was diagnosed with cancer. My husband was out of town on business, and our young children were getting ready for bed when a great sadness overwhelmed me.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang. I flipped on the porch light. A woman greeted me with a big smile and a loaf of warm, freshly baked bread. She introduced herself as Linda, one of the neighbors, and welcomed us into the community.

Circumstances like that happen all the time.

We’re down. We’re afraid.

Maybe someone speaks just the right words, delivers a meal, places a caring phone call or offers assistance.

Maybe circumstances beyond our control suddenly resolve our struggles.

Perhaps an unexpected inner strength arises to fortify us.

Or maybe we sense God’s presence in the summer breeze, the warmth of the sun or the palette of blue skies.

Like the little girl calling to her father on the beach, we, too, have been lifted to safety.

When we cry out to God, our heavenly Father races to catch us.

Gently, he lifts us, cradles us in his arms and raises us to safety.

We can depend on it.

And in this loving trust, in his powerful presence, may we be delivered from all our fears.

(Debra Tomaselli lives in Altamonte Springs, Fla. Her column appears in several diocesan newspapers. Her e-mail address is dtomaselli@cfl.rr.com.) †

Local site Links: