“Father,” she prayed as she rocked slowly back and forth in the old rocking chair, “Father, please, please help me to be a good mother. Please help me to protect my child.” A tear slid down her cheek, landing gently on top of the warm head that nestled against her neck.
It was late and once again the young mother was awake in the night, having come to comfort her fussing baby. Tired as she was, she didn’t mind holding him yet again. At least she knew he was safe in that moment, now asleep in his loving mother’s arms.
But how long can she protect this sweet child? What about all of the moments when she will not be able to be there at his side? Time will move on, taking away the innocence of her baby and pushing him into a world capable of such cruelty.
“Father, how do I protect him? How do I keep him safe? Please, God, help me.” Another tear followed the same path as she clung a little tighter to her son, careful not to disturb his peaceful sleep.
“My child,” the words of the Holy Spirit were formed in her mind rather than spoken out loud, “My child, if I were in the rocking chair, where would you be?”
She stopped rocking, taking a moment to consider this before answering. The image became clear in her mind as she began the slow rock back and forth again. She softly whispered her answer, “I am at Your feet, clinging to Your robe with one hand, while holding tightly onto my baby with the other.”
“My child, here is what you need to see. You are not at my feet. You are seated in my lap. Your head is resting against me. You hold nothing but my hand. I love you.”
“Father!” The baby jumped at his mother’s voice, but slept on. “Father,” she said, more quietly, “If I am in Your arms and hold only Your hand, where is my son?”
“Can’t you see? He is my son, too. He sits in my lap next to you. He is wrapped safely in my arms. His head rests against me. I love him, too. And he is safe because you have placed him in my care. Be at peace. It is not you that holds him. I hold you both.”