Mama was reading to me again. I savored the moments. It was just me and Mama…and whoever joined us from the pages from which she read.
A long time ago, when I was very young, I refused to go to bed without choosing a story book for Mama to read. My sister’s favorite was “The Pokey Little Puppy”. Mine was “Peter Pan” or Uncle Remus’ “Brer Rabbit”. I didn’t even need the illustrations inside the Golden books. My imagination took me to places I had never seen and introduced me to people I had never known. And then, when she was done reading, Mama would pop the Charlie Pride eight track into the player beside my bed. I couldn’t sleep without hearing “Snakes Crawl at Night”. Of course, I had no idea what the words really meant. Instead, I saw snakes of all shapes, sizes, and colors, playing around my swing set at night as I lie safe and warm in my little bed. And I was not afraid. If snakes lived in the dark, then they did not live in the light. And the light is where I lived. Darkness was outside. I was safe inside the light and could sleep in peace when the darkness surrounded me.
This night, many years later, Mama was sitting beside my bed reading to me again. She was reading from one of her ‘adult’ books. It was all words. Not a picture or illustration on a single page. The eight track player had taken its place among the archives of outdated technology. And with it, my need to hear Charlie Pride singing by my ear.
Tonight I was enthralled only by the story of a blind lady given sight through the healing power of Jesus. The lady’s blue eyes pierced my mind burning themselves forever upon my memory. When Mama finished reading for the evening, her voice growing tired, she closed the book, laid it aside and rose to kiss me goodnight. I could hardly wait until tomorrow night so I could hear more about how Jesus healed the lady’s eyes. It was so exciting to me, because now the lady with the arctic blue eyes could read!
“Mama, make me cozy.” I plead as Mama leaned over me.
I had absolutely no idea what the word ‘cozy’ meant. I just knew I liked the sound of the word and how it felt in my mouth as I spoke it. I thought it might mean cold or cool, since it began with the same letter and sound, and I was hot. I was hoping to somehow get cooler.
Mama, knowing the word cozy meant to provide a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation, reached down and gently pulled the sheet and blanket up to my chin, tucking them in securely around me. She reached down, kissed me and
said, “There you go. All cozy now. Cozy as a bug in a rug.” Then she finished with her usual, “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bedbugs bite.”
She walked towards the door, flipped the light switch to its off position, and pulled the door so just a crack of light shined through.
I lie there. With the blanket tucked securely around me, hot as a firecracker, but knowing I was safe and secure. I was loved.
Love, true love, the kind you feel deep down inside and to the marrow of your bones, is a weighted blanket. One we are loathe to toss aside. We cling to it with all we are. It is our safe haven, our comfort, and our warmth.
I slept the entire night with the blanket tucked securely beneath my chin. I knew love had placed it there and I refused to let it go. To this day, I sleep with a blanket tucked securely beneath my chin. I just don’t sleep well otherwise. If I get hot I will stick my feet out the bottom but the blanket remains above my shoulders and just beneath my chin.
Today, I realize most of the things in my life that provide comfort to me are born from those nightly rituals. When I seek rest, escape, or adventure a book will do quite nicely, especially if it is accompanied by a nice hot cup of earl grey. When I seek peace or joy, music lights up my soul. When my body is tired and wants sleep, I pull up an nice heavy blanket and instantly the muscles relax and the brain begins to shut down for the night.
But these things are merely symbols. Symbols of love, comfort, and warmth. They are not the source of the love, comfort, and warmth. I recognize I am blessed. And I am thankful to have these moments resting inside my earliest memories-comfy and cozy.
Yet I know, many of you cannot claim such memories. You may be one of them. The snakes of the night may be very real for you. You may not feel as though you have a safe place to dwell. Instead, fear may be your home. Darkness may surround you all while you search for the light. You may have never had the experience of being ‘cozy’. You may feel unloved and unwanted. You may have never had a mom or dad to read to you. You may have never even had your own bed! Or even your own home. A blanket may be a luxury item for you.
But I say to you, those snakes, AKA any toxic thing seeking to destroy you, were defeated 2000 years ago by a man called Jesus. There’s a lot of biblical symbolism there I won’t get into here. But I will tell you-JESUS LOVES YOU! He was beaten beyond recognition so you could be healed-physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He died so you may have life. How? Well, Jesus did not stay dead. He defeated death, rose again, and broke out of the grave with the hope you would not continue to be held hostage by the darkness.
His love is very real. It is a weighted blanket full of life, warmth, comfort. His love is the kind you feel deep down inside and to the marrow of your bones.
I cling to it with all I am. He is my safe haven, my comfort, and my warmth. He is my peace, my joy, my rest. He is my ever present help in trouble. And He is the greatest adventure of all. He will never leave you. He will never toss you aside. The weight of His love is heavy and it covers us so completely that no one can lift it!
I could quote scripture after scripture and recount story after story to relate to you the weighty love of a mighty God. One blog post does not offer enough space to do so. So, I encourage you, Seek His FACE! He will be found. He’s looking for you, all you need do is reach for Him.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say. 2 Thessalonians 2:16 NLT
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! I John 3:1 NLT
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 NIV
For Further Reading and Study:
- I encourage you to read the Gospel of John and I, II, and III John.
- Also, be on the lookout for my upcoming blog post based on Isaiah 61.
Until then, remember this-HE LOVE YOU Everyday!