Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Light Off"

The time change has seriously messed with my schedule this year. Apparently, whoever created this plan 1. does not have small children and 2. does not have an enormous need for routine and structure like I do. Since the time change my boys have been waking up sometimes as early as 5:45 taking away my early morning "get stuff really done" block of time. I'm really missing the days when they slept 11 hours.

Yesterday Connor woke up again super, super early...before the sun. I heard him stirring and came to check on him. As he opened his bedroom door he started crying and said "Light off, Mommy." As I grabbed him to hold him I realized he was shaking he was so scared. I asked if he was scared and he replied "yes" and buried his head into my shoulder. I reassured him that the lights are off at night time, it's completely normal and I held him as we collected a couple of treasured toys to join him back in bed until the sun came up.

But it made me think. It made me think of several friends I know who are going through really tough, really scary times. They are no longer two and somehow between then and now it has become unacceptable to just say "light off... I'm scared". They have in their own ways said or done things to show that they are scared, but you have to listen really close or you'll miss it. Of course, my friends are the ones I do know about. What about the tons of people in my life and ministry that I don't know about because they aren't saying "I'm scared?" It means that they walk through the tough, scary times alone.

So, how do we reach out to people who are longing for what Connor needed so badly that morning: comfort, reassurance and someone just there to hold them and hear them admit they are scared? How do we make sure to really know the people around us that we serve with and do life with? How do we create environments that are safe enough to say "light off" and then provide helpful support to them?

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