It was a spring day in early May.
The incident happened over twenty-eight years ago.
I was pregnant with my third child.
I was due at the end of June.
Being tall, I carried my children all out in front.
My belly was like a basketball.
It was the days of maternity shirts that looked like maternity shirts.
Shapeless shirts with lots of room was all that was available back then.
My two daughters, age 5 and 3, were playing outside.
The older one was the big sister who took her responsibility seriously.
Other children in the neighborhood were playing outside as well.
They were playing down the street near the big log.
The big log was a tree that had been cut down and laid on its side.
The tree was laying that way on purpose.
Our street ended at the laying down tree.
Houses were being built on the other side of the tree that was lying across the road.
It was a mother’s dream.
No cars could come down the street from that direction.
It was a safe place to play; the only cars that drove on our street lived in our cul-de-sac.
All the mothers looked out for the children; each one could be seen at any given time.
I was inside the house doing a few things.
I had just checked and could see all the children down by the tree.
I was in the kitchen when the door in the family room burst open.
MOM, she is bleeding! My oldest daughter said.
The protective big sister looked afraid.
Her sister was bleeding.
Her sister was not with her.
Her sister must still be up at the tree.
I ran out of the house as fast as a pregnant woman could run in her seventh month.
I remember running and holding my belly, while my oldest daughter followed behind me.
I held my belly as if I could hold the baby still that seemed to be jostling along with me.
Coming up the street I could see my crying little girl being escorted by someone.
I ran to her and in one swoop picked her up and ran her home.
I could see the blood was coming from her head.
Another mother heard the commotion and followed me home.
Three of us mothers were all pregnant at the same time.
I sat my little girl up on the kitchen counter.
I could see a gash in her forehead up near her hairline.
All mothers know that any head laceration bleeds excessively.
Every time the child scrunches their forehead as they cry, the cut bleeds even more.
My daughter’s teddy bear shirt was covered with blood.
The other pregnant mother spoke to me in a calm voice, not to frighten my little girl.
My oldest daughter was sitting quietly on the toy chest, looking terribly afraid.
I got a wet towel to wipe away the blood, as the other mother put pressure on the wound.
I could see the gash, tiny, but deep.
She will need stitches, the other mother said in almost a whisper.
Go upstairs and get her some clean clothes, she said calmly.
The blood is making her afraid, she added.
I was grateful for her presence.
I was grateful for her calming directions.
The neighbors took action; one took my oldest daughter to her house.
Another called the doctor to tell him we were coming in.
The amount of blood looked worse than the actual gash.
I agreed that stitches would be needed.
As long as I could keep her calm, she would not cry and scrunch her head.
She seemed to cry her fear and discomfort out; I noticed the bleeding had stopped.
During all the confusion, I heard what happened.
A boy, who was the same age as my oldest daughter was down at the tree as well.
He thought it would be fun to play golf with rocks.
My little daughter’s head got in the way of one of his drives.
At least I knew what happened so that I could tell our doctor.
I sat in the back seat while a neighbor drove us to the doctors.
My little girl fell asleep on my lap.
Before we left, I called my husband to let him know what happened.
I could only leave a message with his secretary.
He was an engineer at a power plant at the time; he needed to be found.
As I stroked my little daughter’s hair, I noticed that I cleaned everyone up but me.
My maternity shirt was covered with my daughter’s blood.
We arrived at the doctor’s office and he assessed the situation.
She is going to be just fine but she will need stitches, he informed me.
If this was my little girl with a gash on her forehead, I would want it stitched correctly.
He sent us to the surgeon next door; we were seen right away.
She needs to be put in a papoose, the doctor told his nurse.
My little girl was placed in something like a straight jacket.
She began to scream since she was so frightened.
The blood began to flow again.
Just then, the door opened and my husband walked in the room.
I could feel relief wash over me.
I was never so glad to see anyone in my life.
One loving look from him said it all, as he walked over to our little girl.
Daddy’s here, he said calmly.
Daddy’s here; I am not leaving you, he said.
I could see the peace in my daughter’s eyes.
All the fear was gone; Daddy was there.
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:6)
A Daddy’s calming presence.
A Daddy’s promise to stay.
A Daddy’s strong but gentle touch.
A Daddy who is there.
It mattered that day to our little girl and to me.
It matters today as well.
There is another Daddy, our Abba Father.
He is there: His presence is truly all we need.
We need to know our Abba is there.
We need to feel His touch.
We need to hear His voice.
We need to hear Him promise that He will never leave us.
I was covered with my little girl’s blood.
In the commotion, I forgot to change my clothes.
We, who are in Christ, are covered with His blood.
Instead inciting of fear, Jesus’ blood leaves the stain of redemption.
Jesus’ bloodstain cleanses.
Jesus’ Blood gives life.
Jesus’ Blood was shed for us.
Jesus’ Blood brings peace.
I am not leaving you.
Life can be frightening at times, with pain and tears.
Oh, Abba, Father, how we need You.
Abba is here.
Abba is a sight for sore eyes.
His Presence matters.
His Presence matters greatly.