She stands at the edge of a mount made of straw and surveys the gap.
She stretches her leg as far as it will reach and studies the left over space in between.
Shoulders sagging, she drops to her bottom and sits.
I watch as the battle in her mind parades across
her sun-kissed face.
Her eyes darken like the sky before the thunder rolls.
Her brother inspects the bale behind her,
waits patiently for his sister to lead.
She is oblivious to his waiting,
unaware of his growing courage.
She plucks at the poky golden straw, rolls it between her fingers, studies the way it scratches her skin and leaves a pale white mark.
Her pink lips stretch taut and thin as she bites
the inside of her cheek.
She need not utter a word. The question is written across her stormy blues.
Should I jump or should I sit?
Leap or Stay?
Suddenly the brown-haired boy rises to his feet.
Without a word, he steps over his hesitant sister and lunges.
He sails silently from one straw foothold to another.
He is blissfully unaware that his little legs don’t span the gap.
His sister holds her breath, exhales when she hears the thud.
He lands in a forward sprawl, fingers digging into straw, feet dangling at bale's edge. Slowly, he rises to a squat, gains his footing and plucks a few pieces of golden hay from his hair.
He stands. Whoops.
Glances at where he's been.
Studies the space in between his launching and landing,
and breaks into a Grand-Canyon-sized grin.
Farm boy dances in celebration, and then pulls back for another leap.
She laughs and applauds his courage.
Looks wistfully at the line of bales.
Tilts her head toward Heaven as if listening for an answer.
I stand in the ankle-high weeds and taste her angst, hear my own doubts ringing in her ears.
What if I jump and fall?
What if I never jump?
What would it be like to soar?
To lose my footing and sink?
And then she listens to another Voice.
I watch courage wash from head to heart as she rises from her haunches and stands tall for a moment before the hurl.
It is worse to watch and wonder than to launch and hope.
Eyes closed she flings herself across the gap and soars.
She is a prayer wearing polka dot boots.
Hope in flight.
The me I want to be.
She lands upright,
breathes deep, backs up, and leaps again.
Faith takes flight with blue eyes wide open.
She is learning that His reach exceeds her stretch.
And His arms catches those who fall.
I clap my hands in a staccato hallelujah. She looks over her shoulder and waves
as I pray for courage to fly.
The Overflow: But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. -Isaiah 40:31