I had almost missed her soft whisper as I left her room: “Cover me, Mama.” The words gripped me as I pulled the blankets up to her chin. She gave me the words I have been trying to find to express the emotions stirring within me the past couple of weeks.
This holiday season was a mix of joy, relaxation, and a tearing at my heart.
At our dinner table, I listened to the story of a teen running from the success of an almost completed goal because she couldn’t face the pain of the moment.
Amid the laughter and fun with dear friends came the story of children who missed out on Christmas moments because of a mother’s addiction.
We opened gifts, yet the world seemed to grow a little darker as I heard the stories my brother and father told of the orphanage they visited and the people they met in India.
As I celebrated with my family and friends, played games, and drank hot chocolate, I was confronted again and again with stories of hurting and damaged lives. The part of me that has been so very broken was resonating deeply yet still struggling to comprehend the depths of the pain in the lives we cross each day.
A woman shared what she learned from the experiences of others in her grief group. I was caught by the example of what type of advice she had been given. She was told about the best places to park in case you become overwhelmed in a store.
We walk among lives on the verge of losing it.
It reminded me of the night I was there-wandering around a Target store. I didn’t want to go home. I loved everyone there so deeply, but I didn’t want to be home because home was reality, and reality was my failure and my grief. I was unable to give my husband the larger family he desired. I was empty wombed. I was reeling in the grief of the lives I had lost. I was feeling exposed and tired. I was out of control and losing hope and faith.
I needed to make a simple request: cover me.
I felt this in me anew as I walked through this holiday season. However, it was not my life that felt overwhelming this time. It was my eyes open to the reality of how many of us are in need of cover.
The simple, childlike request- cover me- it is the prayer of my heart tonight.
Cover us, God. We need your comfort and your protection between us and the darkness. Let our eyes be open, and let us learn to be your grace and love to each other as we pass through each day.