The twindlers are so tired, they fight sleep. Luke sits up in the bed wailing, his brother Ben, next to him, smiles at me, eager for anything that will distract him from napping.
Luke knows by now that when I come into the room that nap time is far from over. He wails louder as I gently encourage him to lie back down. He hides his face in the pillow. After a moment his wails become loud rhythmic whimpers. Ben takes the cue and lies down again, burrowing under the covers.
Then I pat Luke on the back and start to sing.
Almighty Three, our protection be
Encircling we, you are around
Our life, our home, our protection be
O Sacred Three, Almighty Three
I’ve been singing this song to them since they were born, over and over, its low minor tones wooing them to rest. It’s called The Caim, a protection prayer that I heard sung years ago by the group Watch the Sky. Over and over, the song repeats, weaving together breath and word and voice, until eyes droop and fighting sleep seems too much effort.
Maybe its just that I’m novel. I’m not their mom or dad. Maybe by the time I go in, they are so tired that the song is just the last nudge they need. Or maybe this prayer for God’s encircling is not just a lullaby but something so much more. God loves the least and smallest, the weary and weeping. The wails of tired babes are heard, and prayers for their rest are answered.
Luke finally stops whimpering. His breath slows and he drops off to sleep.
We don’t outgrow our need to be wooed to rest. We don’t outgrow our need to know that the Almighty One encircles us. We don’t outgrow our need for a lullaby.
The God of the universe sings over us, too. Every day, every moment.
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
The past weeks have been full to overflowing. I find myself weary, even in the midst of incredible joy, eyes drooping, yearning to trust the Lord’s encircling presence.
As I sing to Luke and Ben, I allow myself to breathe deep and rest.
Counting gratitudes today:
850. Not one but two jobs. After two years of searching, I’m now on staff at my church, managing communications. And in January, I will start teaching a freshman course, Christian Formation, at Seattle Pacific University.
851. My church called a new senior pastor yesterday. What an amazing morning of worship and prayer and excitement.
852. Quiet mornings
853. Leaves bright and golden, blanketing the ground.
854. Morning carpool and conversation.
855. Tea and biscuits after a long day.
856. Drawing a tree with my favorite Jane.
857. Rereading LeGuin’s Earthsea books, swooning over the language. Remembering my dad reading them to me as child, now looking forward to sharing them with my students.
858. My church community.
859. Delighted hugs from little ones.