I gave my dad a card for Fathers Day with a drawing of a dad with a daughter up on his shoulders so that she could reach an apple on a tree. I told him it reminded me of when he used to take me for walks in what I referred to as “the blue thing”. It was a blue carrier that he put on his back, and I could sit in it and have an elevated view of the world, which I quite enjoyed. I recall walks in the winter where I looked down on the newly fallen snow and up at the magically icy trees, taking in the beauty from the safety and comfort of my perch on my dad’s back. I think the blue thingwas meant for a child perhaps up to age three, but I recall my dad carrying me in it until I was at least five. I was pretty sad when we determined that it was time to retire the blue thing.
About a week after receiving the card, my dad said one of the sweetest things that has ever been uttered to me. Knowing that I had been going through a period of needing to figure out some personal details that have been a bit complex, and wanting to be of help, my father gently said over Skype, “If I could raise you up on my shoulders now to carry you through this time like back when you were in that blue thing, I would like to.”
Well, I’m way too big for that blue thing now. But recently I was reminded of this verse from Deuteronomy: “And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” (33:12).
Whether or not there is someone to help “carry” us through a hard time, we are not alone. We are not without that Father-Mother who encompasses all that is and keeps us secure, even more secure than a human father ever really could.
In her book Unity of Good, Mary Baker Eddy says this: “If He is All, He can have no consciousness of anything unlike Himself; because, if He is omnipresent, there can be nothing outside of Himself. Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers.” (page 3).
This language of God pitying us is a bit unusual for Mrs. Eddy. She speaks of God generally in an absolute sense. But she also defines God as Love itself (I John 4:8) and as very accessible and tangible. Pity comes from a word meaning compassion. Mrs. Eddy likely meant not that God feels bad for us but that God cares for us in a very real way. And she says, “Divine Love is never so near as when all earthly joys seem most afar.” (Miscellany, p. 290).
The greatest comfort comes in knowing not only that God cares for us compassionately as a Father but that “there can be nothing outside of Himself”. If God is omnipresent, we are always surrounded by Love and have nothing to fear. And that assurance brings a security that is able to hold us long past when we fit on our fathers' backs. It also gives us an uplifted view even more expansive than the snowy scenes I remember from the blue thing. In God we can actually be lifted up to a NEW thing, a new realization of the omnipresence of Love.