Last night Kristopher didn't sleep well. He kept waking in the night, crying. First I took him down from his bed and brought him to the bathroom. He looked at me through slitted eyes and asked me to carry him down from his bunkbed. Yes, I said, at midnight and barely awake myself.
A few minutes later he cried out again. And this time, too, he was not awake. I climbed up into his bed and laid at the foot of his bed, close enough to put my arm out and touch him when he woke up and to comfort him. Otherwise, he had no idea I was even there. He didn't wake for another 30 minutes and I quietly climbed back down and returned to my own comfy bed.
A third time he woke, just an hour later, and again I walked through the darkness, climbed into his bed, and calmed him with my touch. He never woke, didn't know I was laying next to him in the bed, but just my presence seemed to calm him enough to be able to sleep. About 20 minutes later, he rolled over and his eyes opened for the first time. He said, Mom? Why are you here? With a smile on his face.
I said that he had cried, and I had come to comfort him, and that he had gone back to sleep. Then I got down and brought him a tissue (sneezing had woken him the last time) and told him to go back to sleep, that I would be in my bed. He went back to sleep smiling.
Each time that I returned to bed, I had two things cross my mind. First, I thought about how much I love my son, and that even though I wasn't getting to sleep, and I was tired, and it was dark and I was having to leave the comfort of my bed to go enter into Kristopher's 'world' and climb up onto the top bunk and lay- not nearly as comfortably- just to be near him and comfort him... that so much more our Heavenly Father has done for us. Through Jesus leaving heaven, entering the Earth filled with darkness, coming into our world and leaving comfort behind... and then sending the Holy Spirit, always being there, though we do not see Him, His comfort is never out of reach when we cry out to Him.
And second, I thought of "Monroe." He's one year younger than Kristopher and he's alone in this world. Though he's surrounded by people, just as Kristopher was last night (he shares a room with Brianna, and three of the other kids are just a room away), he still cries out into the darkness with no one there to sooth him or lay beside him and provide comfort by their nearness. Not much longer... and we can show him that love. And until then, I pray that the Holy Spirit will be a comfort to each of those that lay in the darkess with fears or pain or hunger or sickness, and that the whispers of "you're loved" will flow down from Heaven, so that those still waiting will know that their Father in Heaven knows their name and calls them His own.