The Gift of Presence

He'd been at camp less than twelve hours when we got the phone call.  Our ten year old had a mishap with a tree and a rock.  His arm looked broken.  They were taking him to the emergency room.

My husband and I were a two and a half hour drive away---a long, long road when your baby is at the hospital without you.  I talked to him on the phone, helped him take big breaths, prayed over him, and assured him everything was going to be fine.  Then I hung up and did the same thing for myself. 

A few minutes later, another phone call.  His little sister was still at camp and was sobbing into the phone.  She hadn't seen him leave, just knew he was hurt.  She was scared for him, her best friend.  I talked to her, helped her take some big breaths, prayed over her, and assured her everything was going to be fine.  Then I hung up and did the same thing for myself once again.

We heard back a few minutes later that our daughter was peaceful and heading to bed.  Someone asked her what her mama had said to her.   She told her I said, "Jesus is with him."

I'm not sure I actually said those words, but they were the ones she needed to hear.  They were also the ones I needed to hear.

When I can't be there to hold my baby, Jesus is

When I don't know what to say, He does.

When I can't carry it on my shoulders, He can.

When I can't sleep for the storm, I can pull my mat up next to His and listen to His heartbeat instead of the waves.  (Luke 8)

And I'm eternally grateful for the gift of His presence.  The presence that goes before me and behind me.  The presence that covers me and lifts me.  The presence that is also with the ones I love the most.

When I held my exhausted son in my arms a couple of hours later, I knew for sure he had not been alone.  My heart was at peace as he reached out the arm that wasn't in a splint and wrapped it around my neck.  And I whispered my thanks for the arms that encircled us both.