The normal “get-ready-for-bed” routine, commenced at the normal “time-to-brush-your-teeth” hour, which turned into the predictable “why-are-you-taking-so-long” follow-up. The customary “you-can’t-wear-that-to-bed” triggered the anticipated “yes-I’ll-get-your-Kermit-and-Skipper” until I finally found a little lump beneath a cozy quilt on my little girl’s bed. Breathe.
“Can I lithen to that piano muthic tonight? It helpth me thleep” the lump muffled to me. Two front teeth were lost this month and the stereotypical lisp that melts into too many “yes’s” from a parent is the consequence. Make that…”conthequenth.”
“Only if you show me the ears that will listen after we pray.” I reached over to a pink Hello Kitty box covered with buttons and started her favorite Mark Zeeman CD. Though my kindergartener loves every kind of music, classical is her default with Mark’s solo piano hymns reigning supreme.
We prayed for our church’s Bible study, the hearts of the people, then covered and smothered the normal list of family and friends we love. And then I paused a minute. The quilted lump emerged and wrapped chubby arm tendrils around my neck and pulled me down close while I finished.
“And dear Jesus…will you hold us this close all of our days and not let Maddie or I drift from your path a single day? I pray that a moment without You close would make our hearts ache until we came right back to Your embrace. In Jesus name, amen.”
As I tried to sit up, the grip got tighter and a whisper asked, “Could you just thtay here a little while and hold me ’til I thleep?” I snuggled alongside next to pink satin pajamas and we listened quiet to the music. But it didn’t take long until my heart button was pushed and I began to sing the lyrics softly over her perfect profile framed in the quilt.
“What ith the name of thith thong?” she asked.
“Let’s sing it together and then you’ll remember.”
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
“That-th it! It ith well with my thoul!!” she shouted and commenced to singing again. And as we sang the lyrics to the song, humming when we forgot, she turned to look at me when she sang. Despite the darkness, the CD player gave off enough light for me to see her twinkle eyes and toothless grin. The song ended with “love-you-most” exchanged, followed by forehead kisses, then the obligatory “please-go-to-sleep-and-do-not-play-with-your-stuffed-animals” request.
As I walked down the hallway, my heart was overflowing with divine, inexpressible joy. I had no words but wanted to shout to heaven my praises and thanksgiving and found that everything I was troubled about was blanketed with gratitude and happiness. It seemed way too overwhelming for such a brief, though heavenly, few minutes of praying and singing.
But then a familiar soft voice interrupted my thoughts with gentle clarity, “Do you think you have more joy hearing your daughter sing to Me than I have when YOU sing to Me? Do you know what it does to MY heart when you look at Me and worship with your life despite ‘sorrows like sea billows roll?’ Do you so quickly forget how much I love to hold you and have you realize that My arms embrace your life?”
Wanna sing with me?