The sun was making its slow decent into the sky. The pool next door had just been drained, signaling the end of summer, and we walked a little slower, savoring one of the last evenings of this season before the girls started school. The sky was blue and clear and everything in the moment was just perfect.
She’s very much my daughter and together we looked up through the gazebo and stared at the Heavens. And that’s when it happened.
It wasn’t the way she yelled at the top of her not even five year old lungs that made my cheeks turn red. It was that moment of, for the first time, not having any clue how I was going to talk to her about this.
She’s the one who’s always been so close. I could swear that she must see Him with her eyes. She’s the one who will stop people at the grocery store to pray for them if they look sad. She is the one who sobbed, chest heaving, for 20 minutes at the end of Horton Hears a Who because she saw God in Horton, and the planet in Whoville, and she wanted to make sure we took time to pray for all the people on earth who had tiny voices – she wanted to make sure God could hear them and take care of them.
At night, when I tuck her in and pray silently for her to be filled with peace and joy, I know Jesus is speaking to her. She wakes up and tells me what He said…..
I know that she knows Him. I know that she has a relationship with Him. I don’t worry about writing down a day in my journal where she prayed a prayer. Because I see Him working in her. I see the Spirit whispering through her. And I feel it when she places her hand on me in the unexpected, just to pray, and her hand turns hot and I tear up.
So when, under the deep blue sky of a fading summer evening, she looked up and yelled, I choked back a loud cry.
“Hello?!!! Are you there? JESUS!!!! Why haven’t you talked to me in a while? I miss you!”
And these words coming out of my baby’s mouth aren’t just hers, but mine as well. And I’m trying to be calm and I see her Daddy take her hand and turn to me, whispering, “Me too.” I’m breathing fast and my hand trembles.
I know my feet are standing on wooden planks. And I know we are surrounded by green grass, but beyond that I don’t know anything. I don’t know how to answer her when I have the same question.
Over and over she calls out to the sky, and at first I try to quiet her, but then I let her yell, and let her voice cry out for all of us. And I want so bad for the earth to shake and for the trumpets to sound. I want her to have her answer.
I send the other girls to their father and I kneel down next to her until she is done yelling. I let her release it all up to the heavens. She looks down at me and I spill out, “He’s not done talking to you, baby. You’ll hear Him again real soon. I bet you’ll hear Him tonight.”
“I really hope so, Mommy.”
I stand up and we walk on. And now I know we are walking on Holy Ground. And I whisper my prayers, pleading for Him to speak to her again and for her to know He’ll never leave her. And I pray to hear His voice again, too.
The next morning I brush the hair out of her face as she wakes up. Blonde curls all tussled, covering her blue eyes. She smiles and as she wakes she whispers, “He came back last night and told me not to worry. He’ll always be here.”