The divine power teaches him just as a man teaches a small boy to swim. When the boy begins to sink, the man raises him up, because the boy swims above the hands of his teacher. And when he begins to grow fearful that he will drown, the teacher who holds him in his arms cries out to him encouragingly, ‘do not fear, I am holding you!’ And just as a mother who, in teaching her little son to walk, steps back from him and calls him, and as he comes toward her on his little feet he begins to tremble and is about to fall by reason of their softness and delicacy, and she runs and catches him in her embrace, so the grace of God also embraces and teaches [those] who purely and with simplicity have surrendered themselves into the hands of their Creator, and have renounced the world with their whole heart and follow after Him.
Maybe that is our problem. Maybe we want to be swimming when we still haven’t leaned to float very well. Maybe like the girl with down syndrome, we have to keep going back to the fundamentals: hold the discus this way, put your feet here, twist with your hips this way. Or like the boy learning to swim we have to keep reminding ourselves to float, to trust, to relax and know that God’s hands are holding us up. Or like the baby with ‘soft and delicate feet’ we take our feeble steps knowing that God, like a heavenly Mother, is running to us to catch us even as we fall again, running to catch us and to hold us in His loving embrace.