I was reminded of this when a friend recently posted an old picture on a social media site. It was the statue of a Native American that was used to advertise beer on top of a building in a city near where I grew up. It reminded me of the day I first saw it.
It was a hot, August day. I was four-years-old and not feeling my best. My mother had an eye appointment in that city, so her mother-in-law, my grandmother, drove. My sister and I knew this meant we were in for an uncomfortable ride. Grandma didn't like having the windows down or the air conditioning on in the car. The heat was getting to me.
"Why is Grandma driving?" I asked my sister.
"Because the eye doctor is going to put drops in Mommy's eyes and she won't be able to see after that," she responded.
I was horrified! What kind of doctor would do such a thing? Why would we go through with this? What kind of power did this evil doctor have that could force us to drive all that way and allow him to make our mother blind?
"We've got to go back, Grandma," I declared.
"No. You should have gone before you left. It won't be that much longer and we'll be there. Your mother has an appointment and we've got to get her there on time," she said.
Why were we cooperating? Why wasn't she making an effort to help my mother escape the clutches of the evil doctor? Why didn't someone call the police? I could not understand the lack of effort, the nonchalance. It was up to me to find a way to save my mother's sight and time was running out.
We dropped Mommy off at the doctor's office. Grandma parked the car around the corner and we started walking to a jewelry shop to drop off a broken watch. On the way, Grandma pointed out the big Indian statue, hoping that would make me stop fidgeting for a few minutes.
It didn't. On top of being upset, I wasn't impressed with the downtown. The air was putrid in the days before emissions control standards.
"Why does it smell so bad here?" I asked.
"There are lot of furniture factories in town, like the one your father works in. He works down on that street," she said.
"Where is Daddy's factory? We have to go see him right now!" I said.
She probably thought I was acting like a spoiled brat, but I was desperate to get to him. If I could find him here in this city, he could save Mommy. He was big and strong! There was no way HE would let the doctor hurt her!
"We can't go see your father now. He's working. We're going to go have lunch with my sister Mabel and her daughter, Jean."
I thought about making a break for it a couple of times (not knowing Daddy was five miles "down that street"), but my older sister and grandmother had a death grip on my little hands.
The heat, the factory air, and the distress were making me sicker. By the time we got to Aunt Mabel's, I couldn't eat a bite. Cousin Jean, a pleasant, but unrefined woman, lit a cigar. I felt very green and started to cry.
"What's wrong, Sweetie?" Aunt Mabel asked.
"I just want my Daddy. The doctor is going to put drops in Mommy's eyes and she won't be able to see," I said.
My great aunt answered, "I know, Sweetie. That's why Grandma is driving. You'll see Daddy in a couple of hours."
Why didn't anyone care about poor Mommy? Why were tuna sandwiches more important than getting help from Daddy? What was wrong with these people? I just stretched out on the couch, turned toward the back and whimpered.
"I think she's sick," said my sister.
The others finished their lunch and we headed back to the downtown, too late, I was sure. What would it be like to have a blind mother?
We arrived at the front of the building where the eye doctor's office was and Mommy was standing on the sidewalk with a bag in her hand. Amazingly, she got right into the car without assistance!
"I'm sorry we're a little late, dear," said Grandma. "We got to visiting and time got away from us. We should probably go right home. Our little girl is sick."
Mommy looked right at me and said, "I'm sorry you don't feel good. Look! While I was waiting, I went into Murphy's to get some lunch. I walked past this doll and thought she looked just like you. She even has the same name as you!"
"You can see me?"
"Not very well. Everything is still a little blurry, but it will wear off in a couple of hours," said Mommy.
"I thought you were going to be blind forever!"
"No! The drops only last a little while. The doctor wouldn't make me blind. He's just going to give me new glasses. I guess we should have explained things a little better," she said.
My sister just rolled her eyes.
I took the new doll out of the box. She did look like me. Somehow the new doll smell counteracted the factory smell and I managed not to throw up until we got home. Afterwards, I curled up on a chair with the new doll and my security blanket. I was there when Daddy got home.
"Did you have a good time with my Aunt Mabel today?" he asked.
"No, Daddy. It was a very bad day. I thought the doctor was going to make Mommy blind and nobody would let me go find you so you could make him stop."
"The doctor wouldn't do something like that to your mother," said my father. "Doctors make people better, but if he DID try to make your mother blind, I WOULD make him stop."
I wasn't wrong about everything that day. I knew my father would have helped, if I could have just gotten to him.
Isn't it wonderful that we don't have to go through anyone else to get to our Heavenly Father? We can boldly go to Him any time, any place. Yet, so often we just don't ask. Maybe we haven't made a habit of it yet. Maybe we try to handle things on our own.
Maybe we don't really trust Him.
Maybe we are afraid He will answer our prayers in a way we won't like. Sometimes that's hard to accept, but His answers are always in our best interest and in the interest of His plan.
We can have confidence that our Father hears us and does what is best.
Romans 8:28 reminds us, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
It says in Luke 11:9-13:
9 "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11 If a son asks for bread[a] from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
What stops you from going to your Father for help?