It was dark. Our camping trip was well underway and I was snuggled in my sleeping bag with heavy eyes. Granted we’d only gone as far as the backyard, but sleeping in a tent all night was a pretty big deal to my little Kindergarten self.
I tried to stop my brain from having so many thoughts… and I tried to stop my wiggles as well. But I just couldn’t. Sleep wasn’t happening on this hard ground where I could feel the coldness of the earth and hear strange and scary noises.
And then suddenly I knew what do to. I knew what would help me fall asleep at last.
And so I stretched out my little hand.
Beside me lay my father in his sleeping bag. I couldn’t see him but I knew he was there. What I wanted to know was if he was facing me.
Was his face turned toward me?
I felt in the darkness and found his face. I felt his warm nose and forehead and patted his cheeks.
“What are doing?” his whispered voice cut through the darkness.
“Daddy, I just wanted to make sure your face was looking at me. Now I feel safe and I can go to sleep.”
I smiled and slid my arms back into the warmth of my sleeping bag.
I’d found my peace.
My Daddy was looking at me in the darkness. Even if I couldn’t see him, I knew he was there.
Now I rarely lay in a sleeping bag, but sometimes I still have trouble finding sleep. The darkness, the noises, and the unknowns of this earth can keep me awake.
Though I try to calm my anxious thoughts and restless body, I often fail.
But I know what to do.
I reach out again to my Father. The Father who is always beside me and who can provide me with a peace that passes all understanding.
His voice cuts through the darkness.
And I rest assured that He will turn His face toward me.
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”