Stay for the Crying

While I was cleaning the house today my daughter woke up crying. 

I came into her room and asked what was wrong and she shook her head and cried. I asked again tenderly. She kept crying. Finally I told her, “London, when you figure out what’s wrong, Mommy will help you.” With that, I backed out the door. 

Piling dishes into a crowded sink I thought about what I’d said. It seemed reasonable but not merciful. My mothering is often of that variety. I thought about how I’d feel if God required me to define my problems before He fixed them and I realized how often I come to God crying, with no words, just tears, a heavy heart, an indefinable sadness.

Sometimes I feel like crying, and God never backs away from my tears—even the blurry ones.

So I went to London’s room and held her hand and watched her cry. I rubbed her sweaty forehead and pulled the hair back from her eyes, and eventually she stopped. Now she’s sleeping and I’m watching her breathe  and I’m feeling like I made a good choice. Not because she’ll remember I stayed; she won’t. But because I listened when my daughter didn’t have words to speak, and that made me feel a little closer to the God who does the same for me.