‘Stay where I can see you’ is sound advice

Published 7:55 pm Thursday, June 22, 2017

Our children grew up in a safety net, or at least as close to one as we could control. Even though our rural hilltop was free of predator threats, I always wanted to know where our kids were. My oft-repeated instruction was:  “Stay where I can see you.”  If their laughter and shouts got out of ear range, I would soon scan the hillsides from our lookout deck and reign them back close.

As they grew into teenage years and permission to ride the treacherous three-wheeler and four-wheelers, their roaming was beyond my physical view but never beyond my prayers. Drivers’ licenses were a true milestone for all of us. That wallet-sized document put greater distances from my watchful eye and miles from our safety net.

Over blessed years, Othel and I graduated to grandchildren and a shrinking safety net in a city with malls and mega-stores. Our two youngest granddaughters spent time with us recently and my mothering instincts recalled my well-rehearsed instruction: “Stay where I can see you.”

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Our trip to the grocery was taxing because I couldn’t navigate the turn at the end of the aisles with the speed and quickness of Shields and Patton. When they assured me that they remembered how to find the restroom in the theater, I assured them that I wanted to accompany them. As long as I could see them, all was well.

My parenting motto of “stay where I can see you” came to my mind this week when I was reading in Genesis. The Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless.”

There it was. God was showing Abram His love for him and His intentions of blessing this patriarch beyond his wildest imaginings.

He didn’t say, “Follow me,” but, “Walk before me.” Actually, in my mind He was saying, “Stay where I can see you — I want to protect you — to commune with you — you are my child and I want to watch every step you make. You’ll make some wrong turns, but I’ll bring you back and set you on the road to blessings again.”

It’s a heart-warming sequence in Genesis. Just a few chapters before, God’s first created humans had walked in the Garden with God, but their disobedience had isolated them from God. They hid from Him! That’s a heart-breaking sequence.

Stay where I can see you is sound advice from parents and rewarding direction from our Heavenly Father.

Letters to Camille Anding can be sent to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS, 39602, or e-mailed to camille@datalane.net.