He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4
Growing up I was a very timid child. For reasons that aren’t worth discussing I was quite fearful and had no real comfort zone. Still I felt worse when I was away from home. My mother was a big woman, prone to wearing dresses and skirts, most of which were bell shaped or flowy. I loved those skirts! They were my haven. Whenever I was totally intimidated, read that as most of the time, I would stand as close to my mother as possible and pull the material of her skirt in front of me.
Note it was not my mother’s presence that gave me comfort. She was not a comforting person, because, God bless her, she was not a comfortable person. If I lacked a comfort zone and I did, I’m fairly sure it was an inherited lack. So it was not the fact of her person that gave me a bit of relief but the ability to literally hide behind her clothing.In contrast, the mere knowledge that my Gram was in any room gave me a sense of safety that I cannot describe. In Gram’s case it absolutely was her person, her being that made uncomfortable situations bearable, good situations better and gave joy to my life.
While I didn’t see it until recently both of those women were God’s gift and blessing to me. While it has always been easy to freely and openly love and be grateful for Gram, for years I have chosen to be grateful for and to my mother for the fact that she gave me life and I’ve pretty much left it there. In recent years I’ve begun to see her differently and to see that God used her brokenness to make me who I am.
Today I have the illustration of the skirt to give me a worldly experience that helps me understand a spiritual concept. We are protected every minute of our lives by a force we cannot see. The psalmist uses a lot of bird analogies, wings, nests, etc. I like my skirt analogy. In the same way that I became semi-invisible and therefore unnoticed behind my mother’s skirt, I become fully protected behind my Father’s hand. I see him holding that hand up toward the enemy in a gesture of “turn around you aren’t getting any closer.” There is such comfort, love and grace in that image. It makes me want to stay there at the exact same time it encourages me to be the hand or the skirt for someone else.
Once more I can see the truth of Romans 8:28. God truly does work things for our good, even things we saw as, or believed to be, difficult or miserable. Stand behind your Father. He will always protect you.