Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Night That Jesus Went Away

MOMMY! Moooooommmy!

If you’re a mother, at some point in your child’s life you’ve heard that panicked scream curdling with tears that sends you sprinting up the stairs to your child’s bedroom. 

It happened the other night. I was in bed, darkness had fallen, and through the monitor Peter Pan was being captured by the very wicked nighttime shadows of Neverland. He was sitting in the middle of his bed, lanky arms and wrapped around his little body, the face of Spiderman sprawled across his jammy-top. Tears glistened in the light cast from the nightlight that had done little to quell his fear. Peter Pan’s breath came in little gasps and when I reached him, his arms and legs curled around my neck and waist as if he could bury himself in my protection. 

“Buddy, Buddy,” I whispered, “what happened?” 
He pulled back, coffee-brown eyes swallowing his face and in a watery voice he whispered, “Mommy, Jesus went away!” 

Jesus went away. 

Those three words hit me with the force of thousand boulders, and they still bruise my psyche every day. My little boy earnestly believed that in the darkness, Jesus had kissed his forehead and walked from his bedroom leaving Peter Pan to fight away the evil that lurked in his closet and under his bed. 

That fear? It was so real, so poignant, so vivid. The spirit of my son was experiencing the hellish terror of being utterly and completely without Jesus. As grown-ups, our shadows are much deeper than Peter Pan’s. Neverland becomes a place that is very real, and its demons seem to knife us with sharpened fingers, latching on without mercy. Demons in the form of cancer, loss of a job, miscarriage, dying child, financial straits, mental struggles, and so much more. We bully through, we suck it up, we pray and plead and beg and then finally, we reach that point where we—for a stark, barren, panicked moment—scream, with tears choking our throats. 

Jesus went away. 

At least, that’s how it feels, in that minute, in that nanosecond, or maybe in the day, year, or half of a lifetime. We convince ourselves those shadows are more daunting than Jesus. We cannot see Him, we cannot feel Him, and all the cliché verses that used to bring comfort taunt us with their emptiness. 

Peter Pan clutched at me, whimpering in my ear against my protests, “but He did, momma, He did go away.” 
“No, Buddy, He didn’t.” 
“But I can’t see Him! Where is He, Momma?” 

In that moment, quoting: “I will never leave you or forsake you”, or “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me” . . . it wouldn’t work. Peter Pan is three. Three years old little minds cannot interpret Scripture, and while there are arguably merits to quoting verses, in this moment, I knew they would do little to calm the shivering little frame that had leeched itself onto my body. 

“He’s here, Buddy, I promise. He promises.” 
A kiss planted on Peter Pan’s forehead was whipped from him as he shook his head. “No, no! I can’t see Him!” 
And then, He whispered to me, in my soul. “No, Buddy, you can’t see Jesus. But He is here and you know what?” 
“What?” Breathless, three-year-old anticipation. 
“Sometimes Jesus knows that He needs to show you He is here and that He didn’t go away. So He sends people, like Mommy, to come and love you, and hold you, and pray with you, and tell you how much He loves you.” 
Peter Pan drew back from me, brown-eyes filled with question. “So do you see Jesus?” 
“Awww, Buddy, no, but I know He’s here. Right beside us.” 
“How?” 

How? The age old question. The one we all must trip over when logic can no longer help us along the way. When faith must take hold and push one back onto their feet. Experience has proved to me that Jesus is real, evidence is stacked in His favor, but in the end, the strength to have faith that has been given to me by God, has convinced me. In those moments when human arms wrapped around me and whispered Jesus promises in my ears. When I walked alone through my struggle and an email delivered into my inbox with an encouraging word laced with the richness of God’s Words. 

“How?” Peter Pan’s little voice asked again, pulling me from my struggle to find words that meant more than just the vague concept of a potentially empty faith. And then . . . 

“Because I believe. I see Jesus everywhere, because I can see how He takes care of us. So tonight, little man, you can see how Jesus takes care of you, because He sent me to hold you.”

Peter Pan’s little smile rewarded me and peace filled those eyes that I love so dearly. He laid back on his pillow and breathed deep, sleep coming like the current of a peaceful stream. His room was filled with silence and the presence of Jesus. 

“No, Buddy,” I whispered over his sleeping form, “Jesus didn’t go away. Jesus will never go away.”

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Professional coffee drinker, Jaime Jo Wright, resides in the hills of Wisconsin. She loves to write spirited turn-of-the-century romance, stained with suspense. Her day job finds her as a Director of Sales & Development. She’s wife to a rock climbing, bow-hunting Pre-K teacher, mom to a coffee-drinking little girl, and a little boy she fondly refers to as her mischievous “Peter Pan”. Jaime completes her persona by being an admitted social media junkie and coffee snob. She is a member of ACFW and has the best writing sisters EVER!

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11 comments:

  1. This is great stuff. Love you forever Jaime-girl. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Holy Spirit whispers in the dead of night.

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  2. I'm so,glad he never leaves us nor forsakes us.

    What a sweet post.

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  3. Jaime, beautiful post! Made me cry mommy tears.

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    Replies
    1. awwwwww! Being a mommy is such a privilege

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  4. Jaime, beautiful post! Made me cry mommy tears.

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