Angry Child

His adorable self crouched by the front door, screaming with huge crocodile tears coursing from his piercing brown eyes:  fear in his eyes and fight in his fists. If I made a step, the scream got louder and words were expelled. Frantic, desperate, defensive words meant to scare me off and allow him to hold his ground. Everything about him revealed what his heart and mind felt, it was a mega-phone screeched at large decibels; undeniable…



I’ve seen the look before played out in several ways, but it had been a while. This young one, 3 years old, displayed it like a neon billboard lit up inside my house. I felt horrible for him, but was helpless to make an instant change. This would be a long day!

I agreed to give his parents respite to attend a family function, not designed for preschoolers. Matthew and I had never met. A sister was supposed to accompany him, so we thought he would be fine. She didn’t end up coming, so he was left in a strange house with a stranger. Mom tried to acclimate him before she left. All seemed well, till the door closed.

My heart ached for him.

I understood his response. He hadn’t had a storybook life. Trusting anyone was a challenge, but trusting a stranger…. No way … not happening. His eyes penetrated my soul. They stared at me watching every twitch or blink, to see if I was closing the distance between us. I, cautiously, tried not to add to his discomfort. I didn’t want to make a wrong move and send his “flight or fight” status into greater intensity. His little body was already tight, balled-up tense. I couldn’t forgive myself if I added to it. I was already the cause of it.


I can picture those deep-frantic-emotion-filled eyes. Wowwwww, they were intense!

I have wondered…

God, is this what we look like to you, when we refuse to trust You?

Do we look scared to death when You only hope to love and care for us?

Do we scream, “NOOOOOOO”, throwing fists at you, when Your arms would ensure our safety?

Do we posture ourselves by the front door ready to escape at a moment’s notice, because we don’t recognize our surroundings?

Do we waste moments, hours, days of living waiting to feel comfortable or in control before we move?

Do we push people away, You sent to help us?

Do we vehemently oppose Your provisions?

Trust: a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of

someone or something.

When we trust someone, like our parents, spouses, etc. We understand they care about us. We then trust that all their actions are loving and kind. The result is, we feel safe. Safety is one of the basic human needs for survival. If someone does not feel safe, they will take responsibility on themselves to seek safety. Whatever that looks or feels like, at their developmental stage. 

Matthew was trying to escape from me, because he didn’t know me well enough to trust me. So, he took his safety into his own hands. Believe me, he used every ounce of energy and strength his little 3-year-old body possessed to try to self-preserve.


When facing new situations, what does your trust look like?

If it was exhibited in the face/body of a child, would it resemble Matthew… full of distrust, fear, fighting for self-preservation and seeking to flee? Or does it resemble a child holding his father’s hand in trust; assured of his Father’s love?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

It is human nature to trust ourselves more than God. But, if you are His child, you have placed yourself in His hands and you have transferred your trust to Him. You should grow in your confidence of His care for you.

If my experience with Matthew is any indication, I imagine God’s heart breaks, when He sees eyes and actions of distrust in His children. Just like Matthew and I; I had to wait for his baby steps toward trust before I could approach or help him.



The trauma of distrust is all-consuming and miserable. It puts us in the defensive position, cowering in the corner fighting for an escape route. 

God is waiting to offer security and care, if we take baby steps of trust.

He truly has your best interest at heart!


FYI: Matthew held me “at arms length” for most of the day. I used all of my best child/psychology skills/tactics to win him over. We had a few smiles and laughter, at a distance, before day’s end. To my surprise, I got a hug and kiss goodbye when Mommy came… huge success in my book! Thank you, Lord!


God knows “The Look”,


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