‘Let me rise, let me fall’


Monday morning, I was met at the door by one of the writers in my writers’ group. “You left me hanging. What happened to Sweet Al’s foot?”
“It’s still hanging.”
“Is the injury serious?”
It has always been serious, but he has learned to live with it. Sweet Al doesn’t have an anklebone connecting his leg to his foot. His father ran over him when he was 2 years old. The neighbor screamed and he reversed his big Buick and ran over him again. The fact that Al can walk, even soar, is a miracle. He never complains, but the pain is increasing. It’s all part of his story and his flight with God.
It’s something that happened to him and with grace he has learned to live with it.
Things happen to all of us; some things we cause and some things others cause. I don’t want to see any more pain or suffering and I surely don’t want to cause any. But life continues.
Things happen when raising children. We do our best teaching them what we know. We have to let them grow up and make their own decisions. And growing up is letting them be who they are meant to be and be responsible for their own choices. And, yes, their choices will govern their lives for a lifetime.
I enjoy the music of Josh Groban. My attention was drawn to the lyrics of his song, “Let Me Fall.”
“Let me rise, Let me fall, Let me breath,
“I want to lose control,
“I’m not afraid to lose it all,
“Let me break, Let me crawl,
“Cause I will get up again if you let me fall.”
Paraphrasing his words, he is saying to unshackle me. When you do, I can rise and then you can know who I really am and how high I can fly.
To say we know who our children are, in a way, is to let them rise and fall. I shudder at these words because I don’t want to see our children hurt. We have four grandchildren in their early 20s who are making life decisions. We must let them, no matter the outcome, and believe there is enough wind under their wings to make their flight and believe there are a few good souls out there who will be there to pick them up when they fall.
Raising children who have no fear of falling is scary, and yet we have to give them that freedom. Some of us have been given eagles in our nest to raise. If we treat them like sparrows, they will only be infuriated and unable to come into their full potential.
Holding on causes sleepless nights. We fear the phone will ring and fear that it won’t. We question how far must they spiral down in order to rise up and fly.
Maybe we are asking the wrong question. The question is not how far they might spiral down, but how high they can rise if we let go and let them fly. Of course, the best bet is to stand still, pray and trust God. He will be there to catch them when they fall.
Final brushstroke: “Let me rise, Let me fall, Let me breath, I want to lose control, I’m not afraid to lose it all, Let me break, Let me crawl, Cause I will get up again if you let me fall.” When we hear our children say these words, we must trust them to take flight and soar. They might come home with a broken wing, but somehow they heal and are gone again.
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