It’s after 11:30PM when I finally fall into bed. I hadn’t intended on staying up that late but there’s work to be done and so, it just happened that way.
It’s seems like it’s only minutes later, when I hear her calling out to me in the dark. She calls my name once, and I wait–sometimes she does this in her sleep, and by the time I reach her bedside, she’s drifted off again. I lay still listening, hoping this is one such time. But again, she calls out to me, “Mooooomy”, this time, louder and angrier.
I shed the covers and comfort of bed, making my way in the pitch dark to her room. In the seconds before I reach her, she bellows out louder for me, just as I step into her room.
I rub her back and hush her gently, urging her to go back to sleep. She mumbles something, but I’m already half out of the room, eager for rest of my own.
I’ve only just drifted off when her hollering stirs me again. She’s crying now, and for a moment I am both concerned and irritated. I’m so very tired. (And so very selfish).
Again, I rub her back, and tuck her blanket tight up under her chin. She asks me if she can get up but the clock glows 3-something and I tell her it’s not time yet–to go back to sleep.
It’s not long after I’ve returned to bed that she wanders down the hall, she lingers a minute in the doorway, she’s hesitant–waiting. My husband calls to her and she comes in, asking to join us in bed. She curls up between us and I feel her small fingers stroking my hair. Her gentleness convicts me for my impatience and annoyance at her restlessness.
I lay there thinking for a while about how love interrupts. Love can be a most inconvenient decision and yet, we’re called to this above all–love one another.
I’ve been considering what my witness looks like to my children. Studies say that children learn about God through observing their parents. This fact disturbs me on a number of levels, mostly, because my flaws run so deep, and honestly, some days I’m staggeringly graceless.
I’m called to love and I do, but when my children call out in the dark, do I love them–not with my heart but with my actions?
I am confident that God hears my cries in the dark. I know it because He answers me–not with an annoyed huffing of impatience, but with a gentleness that soothes and comforts.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. …If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:4, 9-12 NIV84