photo credit here
in the black of midnight at the Beasleys, when the house holds its breath,
you feel the quiet settle over you, like a blanket. the hum of the ice maker, the click of the heater – all lull you into exhausted sleep.
from the tiniest bed in the house, the tiniest person in the house awakes …
and makes his presence known.
oh, the mewling howl of a hungry infant! no alarm clock made by man has its power to rouse.
i remember, some time ago, another little boy who once kept the lights on at all hours at the Beasley place. how i showed up with coffee and bagels one early November morning, only to be greeted by a soul-friend who looked like a leftover Halloween zombie.
thoughtful and compassionate friend that i am, i told her so.
she shot me a look, handed me Baney, and as she cradled her chai between both hands, she curled into the fetal position on the couch. i remember staring at Bane’s tiny face, features slack in slumber now that morning had come, and thinking how effortlessly – how innocently – newborns destroy the scaffolding beneath the busy lives we build.
just two months before, Sonya had wielded a Dayplanner and a plan. now, she would have given her paycheck for a nap.
later, as we talked, she revealed how hard it had been. the painful reflux that kept him from sleeping, the countless trips to the doctor, to the pharmacy – all with the same result: he cried – loud and often. he cried being held, being rocked, being sung to. he cried.
and so did she.
because this boy so long-awaited, in his neediness, had shown her
how much she needed, too. she had fought it – fierce and independent as i know her to be – but eventually, she came face to face with the reality that she couldn’t do it alone.
so she cried out – to Drason, to family and friends, to God.
she cried out and named herself those things she had feared to be named: weak, needy, exhausted, alone.
what a contrast – between that baby and his mama. Bane cried as soon as he felt pain – aggrieved, alarming wails, aimed at getting assistance fast. Sonya spent weeks crying silently, crying inwardly as she struggled to do it all herself, before finally letting her cry be heard.
as one who has walked that same path of fierce independence followed by tearful surrender, i need to say it plain: contrary to our 21st-century inflated estimations of our capabilities, we were made to need.
we were built to cry out.
the sovereign God who created us never meant us to walk this world self-sufficient, robotic, alone. he built us to need – and to have those needs met by others – and by Him.
these days, when baby Bayo cries out – like his big brother before him — he is lifted, held close, and carried by a parent who loves him. though he cannot put words to his pain, he has grown to trust the presence of a benevolent caretaker. even in the dark, when his eyes can’t find any reason to believe that help is near, he cries out in faith that someone is there, that someone can hear, that someone will be his Help.
what a radical act of hope – of faith – this crybaby teaches us.
so that we, the fiercely independent ones, with our Flash-a-Fake-Smile swords and our Just-Fine-Thank-You shields, might leave the battle of the busy and find, in solitude, that the cries of our heart can be heard.
will you whisper yours today, even inwardly?
will you be so brave as to bow humble and say your heart-cry truth?
there is One who waits in the darkness, in the silence.
and He will hold you.