It was the middle of the night. One of the little one’s had a potty accident. Walking and working with my eyes barely slit open, I had this hope that if I didn’t open them any further, somehow, that would make them easier to close again just as soon as I could get my head back to my pillow.
I didn’t want any big thoughts here, just: get it done, go back to sleep. Sometimes it works, but not this night.
Maybe I’d have succeeded if I had allowed for some of those big thoughts before I fell asleep in the first place? But no, I went to bed exhausted, body and soul.
And there, in the quiet, with my eyes barely open, it seemed my hearing was heightened. I heard. What I heard wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy, but it came with that power that told me this was beyond me. Somewhere deep I knew it was Jesus’ voice, that heals.
“See to it… that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble…” (Hebrews 12:15)
I wanted to bury the day’s pain and perceived inconveniences. But right there amidst clean-up duty, shuffling my half asleep body through the hall, and tiny hand holding in the dark, I could see—see what I had earlier in the day labeled irritating, was more than that, it was pain.
Then I remembered, like a teacher present with me in my night; pain is my invitation, not my enemy. In the twilight, that holy between space, was my opportunity to see underneath—down below all that angst. I needed to forgive. I needed to remember love. I needed Love to come how it does and cover over the offenses, pull away that bitter root. I needed love’s reminder to heal my amnesia of what is true.
It was my choice. I could say, “No” I could say, “I don’t want to think of it, don’t want to wake.” I could let it cripple me slowly for the rest of my life while I comfort myself that, “I’m just trying to survive, I just need to sleep.” I’ve made that choice before.
This night though, echoes of Psalms…”today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…” and echoes of truth, like Joseph’s voice, “So it was not you who sent me here, but God…” came and wrapped me ready for the metamorphic miracle that is prayer. Holy conversation, where I can be honest, lament, and find my way home again, and, in my case, sleep.
O Lord, what is man…? (Psalm 144)
There are so many snares along the way…Transform my attentions, my affections, my understanding…by Your Word—by Your love.
…May I have eyes to see and hear, I need Your power made perfect in my weaknesses. Lead me not into temptation, but make my feet like the deer upon the high places.
—excerpt from Day 8, of my book Pray, Like a Woman in Labor
Praying to live awake and in wonder with you today,
Homeschooling six kids is my full time adventure and where I take most of my photos. I’m writing here and other places as my part time adventure. Thanks for being here, I really hope it brings courage and comfort to you in whatever kind of adventure you find yourself in. Subscribe to stay in touch!