small things #18 ... 2 AM
In the middle of a strange Vacation Bible School dream (something about pastel t-shirts with marine animals printed on them) I hear my name.
Somewhere in the dark at the side of my bed, a small person whispers, “I can’t get to sleep.”
“Okay. Go potty and I’ll be right there.”
I crawl out of bed, slip on my robe and shuffle to the door. The first few steps make me feel so old - creaky feet and achy hips. How did that happen?
I see the glow of the nightlight from her room and the shadow of her little pj’ed body passes in front of the greenish light. I hear the rustling of her blankets as she resettles in her covers. Squinting, I look around for a way to block the nightlight. Those four little watts are a spot-light to my little girl. She’s like a moth to a flame. I slide a box filled with stuffed animals into the path of the light. In the shadow of the the box, her bed is darker. Her head is nestled in her pillow and her face is turned toward the wall. I tuck her in and head back to my room.
As I lay in my bed, I hear the clock downstairs chime. Ding-dong. Ding-dong. Two o’clock. That deep slumber with strange swirling dreams is now elusive.
I think about the week’s schedule - gymnastics, laundry, VBS meeting, grocery shopping.
I consider the fun to be had on Thursday at the dentist - teeth to be pulled and a cavity to be filled.
I worry about the gaping holes in my volunteer roster for VBS - many have said, “yes”, but I still need 5 adults to jump in.
I try to catch a few thoughts that flit through my mind - ideas to write about, phone calls to remember, emails to respond to.
I feel troubled for my dad - more dissatisfaction at work, more stress, more sadness.
I am washed over with the anxieties about life that intensify in the dark of night - fretting over Norah’s feet, Ashley’s thumb, Lydia’s sniffles and Aaron’s last year of elementary school.
Bong. The chime from downstairs marks time. Two-thirty.
I echo my little person’s lament, “I can’t get to sleep.”
I would love to say that I paused in the midst of these concerns and prayed. But, I didn’t. Instead I wove those worries in and out of my thoughts, chewing on my lower lip and staring off into the darkness.
At some point I drifted off to sleep again. Gratefully, I don’t remember hearing three chimes.
I wish, however, that I had taken that time, that undisturbed, quiet and sacred time to bring these worries and wonderings to Jesus. Trusting Him with these most intimate anxieties is truly the only right thing to do. I can continue to turn them over and inspect their every fretful facet, but that only intensifies my feelings about them. In Jesus’ hands, however, I know that each worry will have it’s own weight ... and He will give me His perspective about their worth, as well.
2 AM ... a prime time for tossing and turning. And a prime opportunity to turn to Jesus.