I’m sitting with Elliott on the over sized chair watching Sesame Street, as he sucks his thumb and “mines” on my neck (pinches, squeezes, fiddles).
It was an early morning, up at 5. Elliott did not sleep well. About the 3rd night in a row of him waking often with bad dreams. One time a friend suggested we read a passage from the Bible to protect him at night. I’m such a cynic I nearly laugh it off, and I feel horrible to laugh at the power of God. What do I know?
Surely it can’t hurt — but in the back of my mind is the thought that it’s playing into some superstitious Christianity mind set that God is the magic overlord intent on granting grace and goodness to His faithful minions who perform as He wishes; and if we fall out of step He will heap down upon us the fury of sickness, plague, misfortune and unhappiness (or in this case, bad dreams).
I refuse to see God that way. He will do as He does. He wishes me to engage in a relationship with Him — and relationships of a deep level involve testing, questioning, tough questions, times of uncertainly, honesty, faith, trust and large amounts of grace.
Me praying or not praying a certain prayer before Elliott goes to bed will not unequivocally grant that he will not have bad dreams. Bad dreams are inherit in life, not necessary a direct causation of God.
At the same time I feel faithless and bound to believe that God will ignore my requests. I cannot find a healthy “in-between”. We always pray with the kids before bed, for good rest, happy dreams, protection, etc. It’s not an umbrella. I wish it were. I wish it were as easy as uttering a few words, or rituals, or rubbing garlic on my armpits to grant me a reaction. But where’s the relationship in that?