One of my absolute favorite things about being a mom is this. That moment, when a child cries out in their sleep. They are crying and yelling and kicking around and I lay down next to them, and whisper, “It’s ok, mama’s here”, into their ear while caressing their cheek or their hair, and in a few moments the tension leaves their body, their breathing slows, and they heave a soft little sigh of relief before burrowing deeper into their pillow and going all the way back into a deep sleep. That moment is priceless. To know that for that child, right then, knowing that I am nearby is all that matters.
Of course, there are often times when a mother soothes her child to sleep, only to lie wide awake herself, full of fear, and worry, and doubt. Just the monumental realization that she is so important to such a small treasure like her child is often enough to do it. How will she keep her child safe, as he trusts her to, in a world so full of turmoil and uncertainty? Who will soothe and reassure her that everything is going to be all right? Who can she trust?
I wonder how mothers, or anyone for that matter, who don’t trust that God is good do it. How do they go through the days in a world that they believe is at best indifferent and at worst hostile to them. I can’t help but compare that kind of experience to what it must be like for a child to be an orphan.