This morning as I laid in bed begging physics to allow me to slip into a crevice in time, my body ached after a night of being kicked, punched, shoved and suffocated. If I were to describe to you the events that occurred in my bed last night, you might think I were being abused, or maybe walking on the wild side.
The truth is, I was just sharing my space with a very scared, tormented and weary little boy.
Every night, a nightmare jolts him awake. In tears he runs into my room, leaps onto the bed and burrows next to me.
Several months ago, I tried to get him to sleep in his own bed. For a week, I carried him back to his room three or four times a night. Finally, I awoke one night to find him kneeling at the end of my mattress, clutching my foot, with tears streaming down his face. “I’m just going to wait here until the sun comes up,” he whispered.
My heart broke.
My arms scooped him up next to me.
Last night was particularly bad. The torment seemed to have settled in like a relentless, foreboding hurricane. He rocked and swayed in the bed, teeth grinding and eyes clamped shut.
I whispered love and stroked his hair. Toby rolled over and his arms surrounded the little body like a fortress from the invisible. In his sleep, he clung to Toby like a life source: pleading, shaking and groaning.
Then Toby began to pray. It was gentle and calm, but it was sure. He spoke with power and commanded the nightmares to leave. He claimed promises and protection. He whispered hope and healing. He breathed light into darkness. He spoke peace into a broken heart.
And then all was quiet again. The little frame lay still. His heartbeat slowed. His eyes relaxed. His mouth fell silent. He inhaled; this time, calmly and deeply.
I love God moments. Especially in the middle of a dark night.