How Does It Feel to Be Left Behind?

by-Shirlee Vandegrift

How does it feel to be left behind? Were you ever left, or did you do the leaving?

It was over 50 years ago that three other mothers and I took turns driving our children to the various schools in the morning. The number of passengers varied day by day but the frenzy was much the same. “Mother, where is my jacket? Mother, did you pack bologna in my lunch (I did.) You know I hate bologna. Mother, sister won’t get out of the bathroom. She is making me late.” As I sat in the car on the driveway I could feel the temperature rising, and I don’t mean the weather.

Somehow everyone got to the right place at the right time. I breathed a sigh of relief as the last child jumped out of the car. There now, that wasn’t so hard was it? As I pulled into our driveway I glanced at the front door and, much to my dismay, there was my youngest daughter (about 5) hanging onto the screen and crying as if her heart would break. Where was I? She must have been waiting what seemed like forever for me to come back for her. After all, I was (and am) her mother. How could I forget one of my own? To this day the picture in my mind of that little girl at the door can still bring tears to my own eyes.

How did she feel? Frightened? Hopeless? Frantic? Alone? And I? How did I feel?

It only took a split second for me to put myself in her place and I was so sad. If only I could take away her fear, her loneliness, her panic. If only I could erase the picture in her mind’s eye of being left behind…left behind by a person she thought she could trust. If only I had taught her about Jesus. If only I was on speaking terms with Him then, as I am today, over 50 years later. I could have assured her that even though I forgot her, Jesus never would. He loved her then and He loves her to this day. When we stand at the door of hopelessness, when we fall behind the pack of good guys, when we elbow our way into the dark places of the bad guys just so we can belong, Jesus is there. He will dry our tears, quiet our fast beating hearts, speak comforting words that heal and he will BE the hedge of protection. He will never leave you (behind) or forsake you.

You can count on it. I have.

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