Little did I know that babysitting would involve doors I couldn’t open; a child I couldn’t communicate with; and my father, who could do both.
A small army of children were piled haphazardly on top of each other watching a movie. I was their proud commander, keeping them confined to the living room. We were all enjoying the film when one of the kids said he needed to go to the restroom. I showed him where it was and then returned to the living room. That’s when I heard someone cry out.
I ran back to the bathroom to see what the problem was. Standing by the closed door, I heard the boy frantically crying. I grabbed the doorknob, intent on throwing the door open and helping him, but the door only opened a crack—enough for me to see why the boy was trapped: he had opened a drawer, which was blocking the door from opening.
I racked my mind, trying to come up with a plan to get the boy out of the bathroom. He was only a few years old—too young to understand that he needed to close the drawer. I tried poking stick-like objects through the door to push the drawer closed, but to no avail. The boy was trapped, and as his babysitter I had failed.
Beginning to drown in the little boy’s panic, I called my dad and explained the predicament I was in. A few minutes later, my dad was with me outside the bathroom door. He began gently talking to the little boy, calming him down. My dad then patiently explained what the boy needed to do to get out and rejoin his siblings. As my dad lovingly spoke, the boy stopped crying and closed the drawer. As soon as we heard the drawer close, my dad opened the door and embraced the boy, assuring him that everything was OK.
As the little boy’s tears dried, mine started to fall. I realized the parallel between my own father and my Heavenly Father. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf explains in his First Presidency message “Our Father, Our Mentor” that “fathers mentor their precious children and show by their good example the way. . . . Fathers do not leave their children alone but rush to their aid.” At that moment, I looked at my earthly father and saw a glimpse of my Heavenly Father, who “has given us 24/7 access to Him,” according to President Uchtdorf.
Heavenly Father loves us, and he’s patient with those of us stuck behind a door, as well as those of us who feel helpless on the other side of the door. He’ll rescue us when we’re trapped and will assist us and comfort us as we try to help others.
—Mallory Lynn Dickson, Mormon Insights
feature image by kelly sikkema
Find more insights
Learn more about how God rescues us in times of trouble by reading Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s Mormon Message “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet.”
Listen to the song “A Child’s Prayer” to learn how we can communicate with Heavenly Father and feel his love.
Watch the Mormon Message “Earthly Father and Heavenly Father” to learn more about the role of fathers.