It is late. Especially for a 2 year old. Especially for his tired Mommy laying in bed with a migraine. Through the monitor I hear my son singing, jumping, banging his crib against the wall. It's been over two hours and the poor little guy is having a hard time going to sleep. It's been a busy weekend with his birthday party on Saturday and a car show with daddy and grandparents on Sunday. He's not crying. He doesn't need anything from me. In fact, going into his room would make it worse. But the thought occurs to me to pray. I know that God loves and cares for my son even more than I do. Imagine that kind of love. How much has God protected my son, my husband, myself from all that we aren't even aware of? So I pray. I pray that God will lay hands upon my son and calm him and settle his precious, restless body so he can get the sleep he so desperately needs. As I pray, my son goes quiet and still. I don't hear another peep through the monitor until morning.
I don't know what to make of that, and yet, I know my God can be that present. I also know that I've experienced God as more absent than present. After I pray for my son, I pray for myself that God will lay hands upon my head and heal my migraine. But there is no relief. Perhaps it's more important for me to be resting right now, and I know, if it weren't for this migraine, I would not be resting. I'd be up late into the night cleaning or reading or editing photos or blogging, or most likely, on Facebook. I know this is what my body needs right now and I don't always heed that unless I'm forced. I sigh and settle into a long sleepless night with a cold washcloth on my forehead. And then I feel a warm hand cradle the top of my head. It's so real, so comforting I almost cry out. And then it's gone. And isn't that just the way it is with God? As if to say, I'm not always going to take your pain away, but I'm here. Sometimes that's enough. Sometimes it's not.
Seven years ago, I prayed that God would lay his hands on my dad and heal him as he lay paralyzed, unable to speak, dying from brain tumors. I imagine my dad did feel God's hands upon his broken body. I know because my dad was at peace. Yes, there were nights he woke up hyperventilating; he cried in pain, frustration, regret and deep sadness. But in the end, he was at peace. He was ready, no, he was eager to be with his Healer.
He whispers, "I will not take this away. But I am here."