"I cried out to You, O LORD: I said, 'You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me.'” Psalms 142:5-7
I was at my desk working on some delivery coding algorithm when my wife called, “There is a 18 month old boy who needs a home. Should we take him?” We had been foster parents for years. But I knew this could be permanent. I hung up the phone. On my wife. She called back, “Did you just hang up on me?”
“If God is telling you to take this boy, you don’t need my permission. Why are you calling me! Go pick him up!” I replied.
And so began our lives with Charlie, our youngest son. He was 18 months old when he joined our family. His biological parents struggled with addiction. His first few months had been rough.
I came home that first night to welcome home our son. I walked into the bathroom where my wife was giving him a bath and he screamed! I stepped back and closed the door. This was going to be difficult.
He screamed a lot. Every night and most of the day. My wife was the only one who seemed to be able to calm him down. One night I decided that the all nighters for my wife had to stop. “Go to bed, put ear plugs in, a pillow over your head, whatever you need to do. I’ve got our son. Get some rest.”
I walked into Charlie’s room; chubby cheeks, curly blond hear. He was a beautiful baby. But right now his cheeks were red and he was crying at the top of his lungs. I laid him down and put my hand in the small of his back, “I love you, go to sleep.” I walked out. It was quiet for maybe 60 seconds.
I walked back in. Laid him down, “I love you. You are safe. Go to sleep.” This went on for hours. THe next morning, I stumbled out the door and drove 45 minutes to the office exhausted but determined. He was going to know he was loved and he was going to sleep.
The next night was identical to the first and I was almost delirious with exhaustion. My wife, already exhausted from caring for him and our other children during the day, was worried about both of us.
Night three started out the same, “I love you, you are safe. Go to sleep.” And thankfully, night three was a charm. I slept. He slept.
I sometimes cry out to God – maybe in anger, maybe in despair or resignation or discouragement or disbelief. Sometimes I cry so loud I cannot hear Him telling me that I’m ok or feel Him next to me. But my crying doesn’t change the fact that I am ok, that His is with me and that He is going to show up every day and every night until I hear His voice and feel His hand and know that I am loved.