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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.