On His Shoulders

It’s the cupcakes I remember vividly.

The rich smell of a batch freshly baked each morning.

We’d stop at the bakery on our way.

I fondly remember the Indian man who welcomed us in each time.

Not his face though. I couldn’t recognize him today if I saw him.

But the warmth of how he made us feel.

Prized customers.

My father and I.

I was three. My biggest worries then were how to convince my parents to let me stay up late and watch TV and getting a star in my exercise book for a job well done.

Every morning my father and I would leave our apartment and he’d walk me to school. It wasn’t near home. But we didn’t have a car then. And in the 90s our small town hardly had a matatu route to speak of.

We’d amble along for as long as my three-year old legs could take me. Which given his long legs slowing down to match my toddler pace can’t have been far. Then my father would lift me up and carry me. I don’t remember what we talked about all those days…all those miles. I wish I did. I really do.

The bakery was our thing. A pleasant stop in our morning adventure. It made for a great snack too.

My father was my superhero then. Invincible and infallible.

But he’s grown older. And I’ve grown up. Crossed over to the side of adulthood when you realize your parents are not as indestructible as you thought. They’re fallible. Conquerable. Human.

We’ve made it past tumultuous teenage years.

I’ve seen him with tears in his eyes.

Stood by his side as he buried his own father.

My father is my hero now.

Fallible. Conquerable. Human.

Hero still.

Now.

In the midst of a long and difficult season that had me thinking-this is on me. All this is on me. How am I supposed to carry it all?

Even as the words left my lips, laughter quickly followed.

The laughter of revelation.

In that moment my Father in heaven reminded me of my father here on earth.

Reminded me that no, it’s not all on me.

It’s all on Him.

The bakery no longer exists.

My father no longer towers over me…my legs now equally as long as his.

But the same way he carried me all those years back, He carries me still.

On His shoulders.

And in the eye of the storm, there is stillness…there is peace…there is calm even as the storm rages on.

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