The upward linger of prayers

I walk into her room, the one with blue hues covering the walls and random pink flowers scattered throughout.  She's laying on the floor with a mess of tears streaking her softly freckled cheeks.  I sit down next to her with my back against the bed made up with the pastel checkered quilt.  Her stuffed animals are all lined carefully across the bed in their assigned places, witnesses to the scene.  She crawls closer with an exaggerated effort and lays her head on my lap.

It is already dark outside and too late for a little girl to be wide awake, but this has been her routine for as long as she can remember.  Most nights I come into her room to pray a blessing over her, a habit I developed when my kids were still in diapers.  She reminds when I "forget" that I haven't said prayers.  We take turns reciting Numbers 6:24-26.  She is the only one, so far, who returns the favor.

Tonight she is upset over a hard day of 8 year old complications.

I smooth a strand of blond hair behind her ear, and memorize the contrast of dark lashes over the deep blue of her eyes.  I'm making time tonight to linger in the disappearing moments of childhood.  As we settle into the intimacy of our togetherness, I ask her what we should pray about tonight.

She has an unwritten list of needs and desires, and I try not to show my amusement when she wants to ask God for parents who aren't terrible.  I mentally shrug my shoulders and remind myself that we always have room to improve.  The list continues and she ends on a request for a friend.

And from above we are seen beneath the blanket of a dark sky decorated by the careful illumination of settled stars;  mother and daughter holding onto faith and the promises of a good God who cares about terrible parents and a little girl's request for a friend.  They are lifted high, our prayers, floating into the ear of God who knows our requests before they leave our lips.  He is patiently waiting for us to ask for the great things that he wants to give us.

Morning is ushered in on the outstretched wings of a song bird, and the glorious sun welcomes a new day.  I am awake and alone in the solitude of a still sleeping house.  I sip coffee and check messages.

My inbox alerts me and I open it.  It's a short note from the mother of a girl who Ella went to school with.  She lives in our neighborhood, and wonders if Ella would like to get together for a play date.

The smile spreads slow as I get that familiar feeling of being cared for and loved.  And then I cry all of these happy tears, because sometimes this God-joy it too great to keep bottled up inside.

I look at my sleeping girl resting peacefully through the light of the morning.  This day will bring her good news.  This day will bring her answers to an important request.  This day, I pray, will deepen her faith in a God who hears and answers the prayers of his children.

‘May the Lord bless you
    and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
    and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
    and give you his peace.’

Numbers 6:24-26


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