Cry, Cry My Beloved Child
Imagine you’re unable to move or speak. Your stomach churns violently, constricting on itself. You have no ability to feed yourself. You can’t even form words to tell someone about your hunger. The pangs yank harder in your belly. What would you do?
My daughter cries. And I don’t blame her. She is not capable of feeding herself, yet she needs nourishment. So, she cries out for help. Later, the warmth in her diaper grows cold and her skin grows sticky with filth. She recognizes the discomfort, but cannot remove herself from it. She cries out again for her mother’s and father’s help. Out of love, we rush to her aid. We want to provide for her, to love her, to keep her clean and well-nourished.
Recently, I realized I am not so different from my three-month-old. Fortunately, I don’t cry out in hunger. God provides me with food. And, anyone who has shared a meal with me can attest to the fact that I know how to consume it. I have been blessed with a roof over my head and, along with it, I have toilets and good hygiene. When I am tired, I lay in my bed beside my best friend pull the covers cozily to my chin.
Although I have those luxuries, there are days when fears of my future feel more like an insatiable hunger. One I do not know how to satisfy. So, I cry out to my Father. There are moments when my performance as a wife or mother feels pretty poopy. I need to be cleaned up and restored, but I cannot do it myself. So, again, I cry out to my Father; and, out of love, He rushes to my aid. He wants to provide for me, to love me, to keep me clean and well-nourished.
Then, there’s the God-forsaken sleep training – the times when I wait outside Marie’s bedroom door as she screams and pants for Mommy. She’s desperate for me to hold her, to cradle her in my arms and rock her back to tranquility. But, I stand aside, trying to teach her to fall asleep on her own. It’s been 4 excruciating minutes. Only 60 more seconds until I can kick down the door like an officer on Law and Order, and shush her closer to sleep.
I remind myself of this image during the weeks, months, and even years when I think God must have selective-hearing or has forsaken me all together. I imagine God, standing just outside the door, listening to me cry it out.
“I really want her to figure this out for herself and grow stronger because of it,” He says. “But if she doesn’t, I’ll go in there at My perfect, specific time to sustain her.”
It doesn’t feel good to cry it out. Many times I want to stop, but in the silence of unanswered prayer, I force myself to pour my heart into apparent nothingness. He encourages me to continue crying out to Him, despite the silence and seeming isolation. “Cry, cry, my beloved child. Daddy’s right here.”