I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping. I'm quite sure it's because of this. My old bosom enemy is back, fear. Sometimes during the day, but always at night. I used to have them regularly, those nighttime panic attacks, and now they're back again--heart pounding, sweating palms, my thoughts churning around and around and always taking me to the absolute worst places.
Last night while I was giving the girls supper, we were listening to an old, old, old, old album by Amy Grant called "Straight Ahead." (Definitely my favorite one she's ever done. Actually, it was the first album I ever bought with my own money, when I was a freshman in high school. I bought the LP--I've since gotten the CD. There're these hilarious photos of Amy inside doing glamour shots, clad all in denim and sporting red sunglasses. Oh, I do love the 80s. How I miss them.)
Anyway, there's a great song on the album called "Angels." Now, angels have kind of fallen out of favor lately--I mean, you just don't hear about them much anymore. Back in the 90s, they were huge. It was embarrassing. There was so much angel merchandise and angel-sighting societies and crazy superstition and middle-aged women testifying how an angel found them a parking space, you name it. But last night as we were listening to this song, Lucy said, "What does it mean, Mom? You know, when it says, 'Angels watching over me, every step I take'?" (A sidenote: at the supper table is where most of our deepest theological discussions take place. I just better be prepared to discuss death or heaven or something right along with the mac and cheese.)
So, I went to the real source and read her a couple of verses: Psalm 91:11 & 12 "For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." Then I immediately thought of the verse in Hebrews about "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for thereby some of you have entertained angels unaware," but then I thought better of it, because right now I'm all about teaching her not to entertain strangers, so that's a lesson that'll have to come later with maturity. Frankly, Darren and I are still trying to get that one right--we've been burned a number of times by strangers who definitely were not angels.
Instead I turned to one of my favorites, Matthew 18:10, when Jesus has called the little child to stand amidst the disciples and tells them: "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."
I really didn't sleep any better last night than I have in the last few weeks. It's just going to take some time, I guess. But I am greatly comforted that those little girls have watchguards over them who always see the face of the Father.
Is that cool or what?