Worshipping Tired

We’ve succeeded at an earlier-than-usual bedtime, but I’m ready to collapse. I lean into the top bunk and she whispers, “Can you scratch my back?” I try not to let my face fall and my voice fails to hold in the sigh, . . . “Just a little . . .” I start in scratching and 5 seconds seems long.

For a moment I catch myself. If I knew this would be the last time I would hold onto it, scratching every cell and wouldn’t feel the tired, maybe.

The next moment I hear a whisper; a name so pure and untouchable, needing no vowels, a vapor on the tongue. We had just learned this Name at breakfast. “YHWH,” The Self-Existent One, needing no one and nothing, not even a nap or early bedtime. As we crunched toast, what surprised them reminded me. I am not the Self-Existent One. I need sleep; hours of it every setting sun. I explained there is only One with this name, and why it’s not me. Their faces softened as they saw some sense to the shortness I’m left with post 8:00 pm.

So there I hang over the top bunk, wondering if I should hold on and scratch forever. I scratch a little longer, run my nails a little softer the way she likes. But I know it’s not my place to pretend to be all she needs. I kiss her and remind her she is loved. I wonder why it’s so easy to rush through the moments . . . if it’s because eternity has been placed in my heart so I expect another day to always come . . .

And I know it’s ok when I just can’t hold on . . . because I’m not the keeper of forever, nor the keeper of her heart. That’s the job of a Name that whispers, in no need of sleep, freeing me from filling impossible shoes, to lie down and sleep in peace.


A Short Prayer from a Sore Heart

This was my prayer this morning, raw and unedited, coming from an aching heart over the battles I see in my country over the idea of freedom . . .

My heart longs for the new world; a “country” based on You, the source, not just our own ideas of You, and enjoying freedom; true freedom.

The current world, at least my part of it, is based on freedom and enjoys the idea that each is his own god. Freedom can’t be defined here, as what makes one man free seems to enslave the other. It can only get uglier. We’ve never been on a path of progress.

In You we do not, as a people, truly trust. But in You is true love, compassion, humility, kindness, beauty, justice, joy, and therefore, freedom.

I yearn for You to come and set us straight. Set us free from our own doings, our own short sight. Unlock the graves. Amaze us all with the life and beauty and peace we think we’re aiming for, but our imaginations are not able to touch.