We were sleeping over at my parents. All three of us in the little guest room. My husband and I were in the full-size bed, and my daughter, age 3, was in the Pack n’ Play close beside.
I woke up to her crying in her sleep. I reached down and rubbed her back, hoping she wouldn’t wake the whole house, until she fell back asleep.
But a few hours later, she was crying again. Frustrated, I tried to quiet her. But this time when I reached down to touch her, I felt she was wet.
I felt around, and realized: she had wet the bed. And it must have been hours ago–because it was cold.
“Oh, baby, come here,” I whispered in the dark.
I lifted her out, she wimpered. I laid her down on our bed. Peeled her wet underwear off from her body. And went to the hall closet to grab towels.
I dried her off. Found some clean, dry Minnie-Mouse underwear in her bag. And laid her on a towel between Brandon and I.
She fell instantly to sleep.
And after I did my best (3:30 A.M.) job of cleaning up the Pack n’ Play, and carrying all the pee-soaked blankets, towels, and undies to the wash–I finally crawled back in beside her.
As I lay there, all three of us cramped in this little bed–my mind began to wander. I’m not even sure why, but I began to think of the mamas in the world fleeing terror tonight.
Just two summers ago, I wrote a post about Christians fleeing from ISIS in the Middle East. The husbands and children were being beheaded in parks. The wives and daughters were being raped and murdered.
And I remember how my heart wrenched each time I thought about their reality.
And what happened? Do I think it just stopped? Do I think it’s all better now?
Just because I don’t hear about it on the news, or see it on TV doesn’t mean this horrific reality of my sisters in Christ across the ocean has gone away.
Just because all my T.V. shows me is stupid clips of Donald Trump, and the Cavs winning the Finals, and the World Cup, and a thousand other forms of entertainment–doesn’t mean that my sisters across the ocean are suddenly okay.
It just means no one is talking about them.
But just lean in for one moment with me. And remember the least of these that no one is talking about…
Our sisters across the ocean, are running for their lives tonight.
Their homes have been invaded and destroyed.
Their husbands have been killed.
Don’t just think of the masses. Picture one woman.
Picture her olive skin. Her dark hair. Her deep brown eyes.
And her babies are hungry, and there is no consoling them.
She doesn’t have the luxury of scrolling Pinterest, and pinning ideas for DIY projects in her home. She has no home. She has no nursery for her babies. She is running every day, from place to place.
She doesn’t have the stress of a busy summer schedule, or checking things off a fun bucket list, or packing for vacation. She is living on the run–to survive.
She isn’t worried about her clothes being trendy–all she has is the clothes on her back.
She doesn’t complain about making a meal plan or grocery shopping–how she would love that luxury! She is thankful to even find any food at all. Any clean water, that will sustain her and her babies another day.
And when her child wets the bed in the night–she has no clean, dry clothes to put her in. She has no linen closet full of white, fluffy towels.
She has nothing.
She peels off the wet underwear, and hangs them to dry. She takes off her own clothes to wrap her child in. And waits for morning to come.
To the Mama Fleeing Terror Tonight,
I never think about you. But tonight when my daughter woke up soaked in pee, I did think about you.
I thought about you tonight, as I lay next to her, until a hot tear rolled into my pillow.
I thought about you as I looked over and saw my daughter and husband, sweetly sleeping in safety. Without threats, or danger, or gunshots, or bombs in the distance.
Where are you tonight?
And what are feeling right now?
I just want you to know, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I forget about you.
I’m sorry that I don’t pray for you, or even think of you.
I’m sorry that I complain. In all my luxury, I complain. And grumble. When my internet doesn’t work. And when I have to grocery shop. And when I say, “I have nothing to wear.” I speak like a fool when I say that.
I know this isn’t much.
But here in America, I am dreaming of you tonight.
Because you are one of “the least of these,” that Jesus loved so dearly.
I wish you were here. That I could share my clothes, and my blankets, and my house, and my food. I wish I could wash your little girls pee-soaked underwear for you. And you dry clean clothes for her.
But I can’t.
But this is what I can do:
I can remember you.
I can pray for you.
I don’t know your name tonight, but God does. And He sees you running.
And I can ask Him, to show me, and convict me, and lead me in real, practical ways–that one day I can help you.
And something else I can do.
I can stop complaining and acting like I deserve all the luxuries I have. And next time I want to complain about something so “First World”, even as the words form in my mouth–may the Holy Spirit convict me, and remind me of you.
May all my foolish grumbling, over Pinterest, and Target, and H&M, be replaced with prayers for you, in your suffering, my sweet sister in Christ.
My sister, I love you tonight. Here in my safe bed.
I am praying for you. I have to believe that it effects you somehow. That it protects your babies. And helps you sleep tonight.
I don’t know if I will ever be in your shoes. But I hope if I ever am. That my sisters across the ocean, will think of me. And pray for me. And my babies.
After all, this is what God tells us to do.
“Resist him, [the devil] standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:9
We are called to pray for each other.
Your language my be different than mine. Your skin may be different than mine.
But we have the same blood.
The precious blood of Jesus Christ, that cleanses us from all unrighteousness. That washes us. Restores us. And makes us whole.
And one day, we will sit down together at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. As true sisters.
I am praying the angels surround you tonight. And the Spirit comes and speaks into your ears, all the words you need to hear. Because you are a beautiful, precious jewel.
You don’t deserve to live in a dump, you deserve a palace, and right now, at this moment, Jesus is preparing one for you.
You don’t deserve to wear stiff, dirty, thread-bare clothes–and one day Jesus will clothe you in robes of white.
You don’t deserve not to shower or bathe–but one day Jesus will wash you, and cleanse you, and heal you.
And on that day, when you finally get to go “home,” the real “home” you have longed for so badly and with tears, Jesus will bind up your every wound, and kiss away every tear. Until the memory of anything painful, is completely vanished.
And His face will shine like the sun. And never will you see anything so bright, or feel anything so warm–as His face smiling into yours.
And for every painful tear, will flow a thousand happy ones.
That’s where I will find you.
In the place of His rescue.
But until then, stay strong sister. Do not lose heart. Do not lose hope.
For “the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11