We have been out all evening; and when we pull into the drive, bedtime is rapidly approaching. Older son must finish homework. I am fussing with the dirty dishes left on the table, in the sink—abandoned in haste to not be late for evening appointments. That’s when she appears, lifting furry self from lazy sleep that occupies her time when family is out—doleful eyes seeking attention. Lucy Mae needs to go out.
“Would you please run Lucy Mae around the house?” I throw at smallest son, not wanting to break the rhythm of this scrubbing and shining.
His eyes grow big as he looks out the window at the fast approaching darkness.
“Not me!” He exclaims. “I’m too scared!”
He has been having these fears of late; fear of darkness, fear of burning house, fear of mom or dad being in an accident. I remember his brother going through the same at his age, and know we must ride this out.
But still, I sigh heavily as I put up the dishcloth.
Lord? Time is so precious.
He is more precious. This is the response I hear.
Mustering, I turn to small one.
“Oh, one of my favorite things is go outside at night. There is nothing to be afraid of. It’s so beautiful. It’s one of my favorite times to talk to God.”
“Really?” Face is doubtful.
I gently take his hand. Together we go.
When we step out onto the porch, I look up.
He looks up too.
“The first thing I do when I step out here is look up at the sky. And I always say, ‘Wow, God!’”
It is a beautiful clear night and the stars are showing off just for my son.
We walk around the house, Lucy Mae leading the way.
Touch him, Lord, I pray silently.
Darkness envelopes, but there is this Light.
“What do you do next?” He questions.
“Oh, I just talk to God. I’ve been talking to Him this whole time.”
He looks a bit skeptical.
“Not out loud, of course. Usually when I am with someone, I just talk to God in my head.”
“Yeah. They might think you’re weird, otherwise.”
“But that’s one of the neat things about talking to God. Even when you are not alone you can talk with Him privately. He hears every thought in your head. I have amazing talks with Him when I am in the middle of people all the time.”
Lucy pulls on leash. I move into the meadow, but Jeffrey hangs back.
“I’ll stay back here if you want to talk to God out loud now,” he says.
I move forward and look up. Praises soar.
I close my eyes and hear the sounds of night. But I hear something else too.
On the edge of the meadow, I hear his whispers.
He is talking earnestly to God.
When I move closer, he quiets.
Then he runs.
Around the house.
And back inside.
Alone, but not.
The night air tickles my skin.
Dishes still sit in sink. Table needs cleared. Floor is sticky.
But I have just witnessed God’s touch.
And all these things can wait.
Because time is precious.