It was just the two of us, alone in our house. My daughter had been digging out everything she’d need for her off-campus apartment, the things she had packed away in drawers and boxes and her closet just three months earlier…
The paradox of just yesterday and yet forever ago.
Her bedroom floor was covered in piles – things to take or leave or give away – and there was barely room to turn around. Mostly I just sat against the wall and watched her deliberate What next? – a hard thing for a mom to do. In this case it was my presence she wanted, not so much my helping hands.
After a while there were other things I needed to tend, so I stood up to leave. She asked me to close the door behind me and I asked “Why?” since we were the only ones home and it was the middle of the day.
She looked up and away with an impish grin curling mischievous lips, the one that tells my mom-trained eye that she’s going to give me something I’ll like–
“To keep out the monsters.”
My 22-year-old daughter is incredibly bright. Rather than deride her for pretending a paper thin door and rickety lock could keep out sinister intruders, I tell her I understand. Because I do. It’s the exact reason I have to sleep under covers regardless of temperature. Even if I’m under the thinnest of sheets, I’m convinced “nothing” can get me. At night when I’m lying in bed and can’t see my hand in front of my face, who knows what’s creeping around my room? I’ve seen Monsters, Inc. for cryin’ out loud.
It makes perfect sense, yes?
We could completely do away with super heroes if everyone understood that 600-threadcount Egyptian Cotton is all you need for protection against snarling beast or man. This is the secret Marvel Comics fears most.
Though it was broad daylight, on the other side of that door was “darkness.” It was impossible to see or know what might be lurking just around the corner.
It’s the perfect explanation for why so many of us are scared of the dark, whether literal or figurative darkness: we imagine the worst case and fear the unknown.
Which is exactly what it felt like when my daughter was 8,773 miles from home for 86 days this summer: darkness.
It didn’t matter that I’ve never before been a mom characterized by worry — 22 hours in the air separated me from my baby girl, I’ve seen Taken and I’m not married to Liam Neeson. We couldn’t contact her when we wanted to and it was rare for her to contact us.
The space between us felt dark and suspicious until one morning the Lord spoke to me in one of those everyday miracles we mostly take for granted: a sunrise.
I was at one of the places I love best – the beach – and if you’ve never watched the sun rise over the Atlantic, it’s a worthy edition to your Bucket List. I was awake early enough to have to wait for the show, and in the still and softness of dawn, I watched the place where the water touches the sky, eager to see that first glimpse of fire.
The beach is my favorite place to worship. There, it’s just me and God in the visible fullness of His glory.
The hymns of my youth – the ones I long ago shelved for their contemporary sisters – slip from my heart to my lips in a joy-filled noise, and I applaud my Creator and his Creation. It is in the midst of my humming and clapping that I sense a Word just for me: Look up!
And as the sun inches toward the sky I know it’s the very same sun that my daughter saw 12 hours previously and will see again 12 hours from now.
In the sweet way the Spirit can render Truth, I’m reminded that we’re not so far apart in the ways that matter most.
As the morning light comes, I celebrate the Morning Light that has come and the beauty of Isaiah 60:1 springs to life right before my eyes ~
Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
The glory of the Lord has risen upon me and risen upon my daughter. Jesus is the light of this world and it is He who we trust for our salvation, forgiveness, redemption and life! His light is within us and beyond us and not only has He come but He prevails.
Jesus is always . . . .
Where have you sensed the Lord’s mercy and grace or heard Him speak an undeniable word
over you, the very word you needed to hear? Please tell me? I want to hear your stories.
By Robin Dance, ragamuffin princess and happy mama
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