Daddy, May I Help You?

February 1, 2009 at 11:34 am (Attitudes, Godly Living, stories) (, , , , , , , , , )

daddy-may-i-help-you

Posted by Abigail

“Daddy, may I help you?”

The wide, blue eyes peer wonderingly up as the father raises his head from underneath the car. “Of course, Son, I would love to have your help. It is my greatest wish for you to learn to do everything that I do.”

“What are you doing, Daddy?” There is a grunt as the father lowers himself under the car once more. The child waits for a moment, watching as his father’s body disappears behind muddy tires and dirt-caked axles. “Daddy, what are you doing?” the child ventures again.

“Wait a little and you’ll see,” comes the father’s muffled response.

“Daddy, did you hear me the first time? When I asked you the first time, didn’t you hear me?” The small boy drops to his knees, poking his head under the car to watch his father.

“Yes, Son, I heard you.”

“Why didn’t you answer me?”

The father raises his head to gaze lovingly into the little boy’s face. “Son, if I tried to explain to you what I am doing now, you wouldn’t understand it. I just want you to wait a little while and then it will all become clear.”

“Daddy,” the child wriggles under the car next to his father. “What can I do? You said I could help you?”

The father reaches past his son to grab a tool. “So I did, Son. But right now you are in my way. It would be most helpful to me if you would just climb back out from under the car and sit down on the pavement to wait.”

“But Daddy, I want to help you!”

“Do you want to help me?” the father’s eyes are keen as he again twists to gaze into his son’s eyes.

The child halts in confusion. “Yes, Daddy, that’s why I’m here.”

“I appreciate it, Son. If you want to help me, I need you to do what I ask of you.”

“But Daddy,” the boy whispers tearfully as he climbs out from under the car. “I want to help you, really and truly help you. Not just sit here and watch you work.”

“Son,” the voice is stern yet gentle. “I am not ready for you yet. Right now you are just in my way, slowing me down. Sit there and wait until I need you–then you will be a big help to me!”

“Just sit here?” He isn’t really intending to whine, but the pitch in his voice displays his dissatisfaction. There is no answer from underneath the jacked-up vehicle. The boy glances out of the garage door at the blue sky and warm sunshine. The he crosses his legs and sits quietly on the floor. A minute passes, then two. He can see his father steadily at work and his hands are itching to be doing something–anything. “Are you ready for me yet, Daddy?” No words–only the steady tapping of the metal tools against the underside of the car. “Daddy?”

“Wait–” the grunt is anything but satisfactory.

The little boy glances out the wide doorway again. The fresh air and sunshine are whispering alluring suggestions–he will hear if his father calls.

“Son, could you hand me that–” there is no answering scramble, no eager voice and smiling eyes as the requested tool is produced. The father raises himself on his elbows. Empty. The garage is empty. So much for the child who wanted to help him. The father sighs, crawls from under the car and reaches for the neglected wrench. He can hear his son’s delighted laughter just outside the door.

“Daddy, are you ready for me yet?” the dirty little feet patter across the pavement and pause by the car.

“Son, I needed you just a minute ago and you weren’t here to help me.”

“I went outside to play while I was waiting. What do you need, Daddy?”

“I already got it myself, Son. You will have to wait again, now.” A tool clattered to the concrete floor, drowning out the last few words.

“Why didn’t you come and call me, Daddy? I would have been happy to help you.” The child bent over again to peer under the car.

“It would have taken me longer to come find you than for me to just do it myself.”

“When will you need me again, Daddy?”

“I am not sure, Son. But if you want to make yourself available to help me when I need it, then you must sit down where you are and wait until I need you again.”

“But Daddy, sitting here isn’t really helping you!” the son pouts as he reseats himself in the sunshine that spills through the high garage windows.

“Son, the definition of helping me is doing whatever I need you to do. Right now I just need you to wait so that you will be available.”

The child watches his father’s legs wriggle as he moves to a new position. “Would you hand me a rag, Son?”

“Oh, but Daddy, the rags are so dirty!”

There is no answer. Only the soft shuffling as the father climbs from under the car and walks toward the plastic sack filled with rags at the far end of the building. He pulls out a long, greasy towel and returns to the car.

“Are you ever going to have something for me to do?” the son moans, playing restlessly with his dirty toes.

“You didn’t want to get me a rag,” comes the quiet response.

“But Daddy, getting a rag is not real work. And it’s dirty. You know I want to help you with the real, hard work.”

The father pushes the towel out from the side of the car. It is covered in new grease stains and the dust of the garage is sticking to it. “Work requires getting dirty, sometimes. You are not ready for the big jobs yet.”

“When will I be ready?” the son asks, anxiously.

“When you become faithful in the little jobs–in waiting.”

“But Daddy, the little jobs aren’t any fun and waiting make my head hurt. Why can’t I be doing something important?

“Son, the little jobs have to be done, and that’s what I need you to do right now. Here, hold these nuts for me.” A hand reaches out from under the car to drop several cold, greasy round objects into the cupped hands of the little boy.

“Daddy, can I put them on or do you want me to put them away in the big jar with all of the bolts?” the boy starts to get up as he speaks, gripping the nuts tightly in his fist.

“No Son, I just took them off of the oil pan–just hold on to them for a minute. I will need to put them back on in a little while.”

“Daddy, may I put them back on?” the child hesitates a moment, deciding whether to remain standing or reseat himself.

“We will see,” comes the response as the father again reaches for the towel. Seeing the movement, the child pushes it toward his father. A nut falls from his hand and rolls under one of the wheels of the car.

“Oh Daddy! I dropped a nut! I’m so sorry! I was only trying to help you!”

“I can get the nut, I believe. But remember, I didn’t ask you to hand me the towel. I appreciate your eagerness, but what I need is obedience. I only asked you to hold the nuts. You dropped one because you did something I didn’t ask you to do.”

“But Daddy, I thought you needed me to help with the small jobs.”

There is a sigh as the father squirms under the far tire to retrieve the lost nut. “I need you to concentrate on doing what I ask you to do, Son, not on whatever you think I need help with.” He places the runaway nut back in his son’s hands. “Now, hold it tightly.” The chubby fingers close over the dirty nut, joining the others, and there is silence for a few minutes as the father works steadily. At last, “Hand me the nuts, Son.”

The child carefully places the nuts, one by one, into the large work-worn hand extended to receive them. “They are all here, Daddy. I didn’t drop any this time.”

“I see that,” the father answers with pleasure. “Good job!”

“How may I help you now, Daddy?”

“Would you like to tighten the nuts?”

“Oh yes!” the child answers eagerly, snatching up the wrench and hurriedly wriggling under the car.

“Son, climb back out from under the car and put that wrench back where you found it.”

“But Daddy, you said I could–”

“Yes, Son, I know,” the father’s voice is reassuring. “But you have the wrong-sized wrench. The one we need is under here with me.”

“Oh,” the sun hands his head as he lays the wrench down again and then worms his way back under the car. He rolls over onto his back and seizes the smaller wrench.

“Son,” comes the father’s voice form just beside him. “Hand me that wrench.”

“Daddy, you will let me tighten the nuts, won’t you? Like you said?” the child clings tightly to the wrench, afraid to let it go.

“Would I deceive you, Son? You must give me that wrench before you can do anything.”

Reluctantly, the boy releases the wrench into his father’s hands.

“Now, use your fingers to tighten each nut.”

“Will I ever get to use the tool, Daddy?”

“Finish tightening them with your fingers, Son.” The voice is firm as the father points to the unfinished work. “Now you may use the wrench, but you must be careful.” Gently the father shows his son how to hold the wrench and helps him tighten several nuts.

“I want to do it by myself.”

“You are not strong enough, Son. You need my help.”

“Please let me try, Daddy. I’m sure I can do it.” the blue eyes gaze up pleadingly at the father.

“You may try, Son, but you will not be able to do it.” the father’s hand drops from the wrench.

Eagerly the son grips the heavy handle and struggles to turn the nut. It doesn’t budge. He grunts and whines and sweats. “I guess it’s tight enough, Daddy,” he pants.

“Let me help you, Son,” the father’s strong hands grip the handle again, turning the nut easily.

“But I was trying to help you,” comes the disappointed whisper.psalm-25

“Help me is correct, but you can’t do it on your own.” The father gives his son a loving squeeze. “Now I need you to climb out from under here and wait until I need you again.”

“Wait, Daddy? Again?” The disappointment is evident.

“Yes, Son. Sit where you are. I will call you when I need you.”

“But Daddy, I am ready now–”

“I will let you know when I am ready for you–but I can’t use you unless you are available and waiting.”

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9 Comments

  1. Jill said,

    That was beautiful! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and your words of encouragement!

    Blessings!
    In His amazing grace,
    Jill

  2. Denise said,

    Congrats on being one of the top 100 christian womens blogs.

  3. jubilee said,

    Congrats and it was nice ‘meeting’ you! I’ll be back again!

  4. Laurie Ann said,

    Profound truths shared here. Beautifully written!

    Also, I just wanted to stop in and say congratulations for being one of the Internet Cafe’s Top 100 Christian Women’s Blogs of 2008! Your blog truly *does* bless!

  5. Miss S. said,

    Oh, I love it! So many times i am unwilling to wait. Thank you for posting this!

  6. nobody416 said,

    Beautiful Abigail! Such a great reminder for me. I am not very patient at all and I always tend to want to help NOW, but God is showing me that He needs me to be patient. Thank you so much! God bless you!

  7. Anna Lofgren said,

    Beautiful. Very convicting as well. How often do we try to “help” our Heavenly Father instead of waiting for Him to use us as He knows best? The jobs may not be big and glorious, but He is preparing us for greater things and giving us opportunities to build character.

  8. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    I’m glad ya’ll enjoyed this little picture…I can’t believe how patient the Lord is to me!

    And thanks for the congrats on the top 100! We were surprised and excited!

    ~ Abigail

  9. A Sweet Fragrance » Blog Archive » Sunday February 8, 2009 said,

    […] to work and we must continue doing the tasks that He has given us. We must continue on, patiently waiting for answers that may not come on this side of eternity. Being silent before God means allowing Him […]

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