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Safe in the Night

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

I remember being little and waking up scared in the night. The dark was so large, every shadow alive and waiting. Every sound made me jump. Nightmares seemed to pursue me out of slumber and into wakefulness.

But Mom was just down the hall.

Dodging shadows and escaping the clutches of chasing dreams, I would soon be trembling by her bedside. Then she would wake up and we would pray. Our prayers were simple and short—Mom wanted to get back to sleep. I don't remember what we asked for, but when we said, "Amen," the house was quiet and the darkness invited sleep. As I walked back to my bed, I was struck by the beauty, not the terror, of the shadow of the moonlight through the trees.

Last night, my role was different. Joshua's quiet, trembling, "Mommy..." woke me up. There he was, climbing onto my bed and hurrying into my arms. "I'm scared," he said. Over and over I've told him, "You don't need to be scared. You're safe. What should you do when you're scared?" And now he knows he answer. He knows the prayer, too. Without prompting, he began, "Dear Lord, please keep me safe. Help me to have faith." Soon he is tucked back under his blankets assured by his earthly mother of his Heavenly Father's love and care.

"My son, do not lose sight of these—keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."
—Proverbs 3:21-24

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