But, I’m scared.
We were already 20 minutes into a too-late bedtime attempt, and Emerald just couldn’t seem to get settled down. Her closet light was on, her flashlight was on, the bathroom light was on, and she was surrounded by a friendly assortment of stuffed toys and baby dolls. Her brother and sister were just next door, and her daddy and I were sitting mere feet away from her room, but she still felt uneasy about being in her bed all alone.
She told me that she’s afraid of monsters. And of someone slipping in the hallway and falling into her room. She told me that she wanted more light. She said that if her foot was outside of her blanket a monster would come. She knows there are monsters, as all children do. And, as all mothers do, I lied and said that there’s no such thing. Evil is alive and well on this planet. But, tonight, in her room, in this cozy house, on this quiet street, my God and I can hold the monsters at bay, and my baby can sleep in peace.
I told her the other truth of the matter.
I am taking care of you, and I am telling you there is no reason to be afraid tonight.
The crying continued. The insistence. But, I’m still scared!
When her daddy walked in his patient way to her room and spoke in soft tones, I sat down to write to you. I know that right now he has probably taken off his glasses and laid on the floor next to her bed, strong hand on her tiny back. A reassurance that is warm and real.
And, as I think about the way she pulled her Elsa blanket up to her chin while she cried over her fears, I can’t help but see a picture of me. Afraid of the monsters. And, even while Jesus explains that He is taking care of me and there’s no reason to be afraid, I still hear myself answer, But, I’m scared.
How He must sigh.
He, who laid the earth’s foundation, who spoke everything into being. He who is ruling the universe as I type. How He must sigh when I wonder if He can handle all of the things that I am afraid of.
Still, He sticks close. He reassures me with His warmth. With His gentleness. With His low tones, His still small there, there. I am here. I’m taking care of you tonight and there’s nothing to be afraid of.
And, eventually, even as hard headed as I am, I close my eyes and I open the little fist where I had been holding tight to fear, and I let it go.
Emerald has finally drifted off to sleep. I hear the beautiful peace that has settled on her room. And, I feel the peace that has settled on me. He is taking care of us, and there is no reason to be afraid tonight.