The people I sleep with

Assis Boutrous Zaour, his wife Wafa and their three children, all amazing young people!

Assis Boutrous Zaour, his wife Wafa and their three children, all amazing young people!

Assis Joseph Kassab with me and Assis Adeeb Awad

Assis Joseph Kassab with me and Assis Adeeb Awad

Since Steve and I got married on May 18, 2002, we have slept in the same bed every night, with very few exceptions. It’s expected that a married couple would share the same bed, right? Well, I guess Lucy and Ricky on the old sitcom had separate beds, or at least that was the way early television and movies would have it!

The truth is, there have always been many people that went to bed with me before I met Steve…

Talal, a refugee from Aleppo, whom we met in the refugee camp

Talal, a refugee from Aleppo, whom we met in the refugee camp

I used to start my prayers every night with

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
Guard me safely through the night
And let me see the morning light.

That is not the way everyone said that prayer, but it was the way it was printed on the night light in the bedroom I shared with my sisters when we were very small. That’s where I learned that prayer when I could first read. Years later when I learned the version that went, “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take,” it scared me that anyone could pray that way. “The morning light” vs. dying before waking, was a much brighter vision!

Either way, those prayers were always followed by the Lord’s Prayer, a Hail Mary, a Glory Be and then my list of family and friends whom I wanted God to protect and bless. It was a long list of people that came to bed with me.

Gladys Aboud of the synod in Beirut and Hala Bitar, a teacher at the Beirut Evangelical School for Girls and Boys

Gladys Aboud of the synod in Beirut and Hala Bitar, a teacher at the Beirut Evangelical School for Girls and Boys

There are many people that I pray for regularly. I think it is part of my call as a follower of Jesus to bring those I love and he loves before him; to bring to the foot of the cross all those I carry burdens for. I love them; he loves them more. He knows all their names before I speak them and what a comfort it is to walk with a God like that.

I still pray for my family. Oh! How I want their safety, their provision, their comfort. Let them see the morning light! I can’t help thinking as I sleep that I have many family already sitting with God in glory who died before I woke, their souls taken to a place where there is no worry. My mom. My dad. My baby sister Cathy. All are safe on the other side.

Rola Sleiman, the preacher at the church in Tripoli, a graduate of the Near East School of Theology

Rola Sleiman, the preacher at the church in Tripoli, a graduate of the Near East School of Theology

But here on this side of heaven, are still so many.

And this night and the next, they all go to bed with me and Steve. He is as aware of them as me. Steve has traveled to their homes with me to walk with them and learn from them what faith is. They pray for us. We pray for them. And God loves and knows us all.

Assis Boutrous  Zaour and Assis Ma'an Bitar

Assis Boutrous Zaour and Assis Ma’an Bitar

Sleep has been much harder to come by lately and I’m trying to find ways to encourage my body to get to a restful state so once I am in bed, sleep will come. Last evening I took a half hour’s walk as the sun was still up but with a shadow cast upon it by the moon as a partial eclipse was happening. And as I walked my mind had a slideshow, a veritable mental Power Point of all the people who come to bed with me: pastors and preachers and leaders of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, pastors, elders and kindergarten teachers in Iraqi churches, refugees from Iraq who had been in Syria, refugees from Syria now in Lebanon. Ordinary people living ordinary lives in extraordinary times, loving God in the act of loving their neighbors.

Mary Mikhael, past president of the seminary in Beirut

Mary Mikhael, past president of the seminary in Beirut

And even as a shadow is cast over them right now, just like the moon was trying to blot out the brilliance of the sun last night, we know from the the scripture, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Guard me safely through the night…and let me see the morning light.

Amen.

#hopecamedown

One thought on “The people I sleep with

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s