On Saturday morning, an hour and a half before sunrise, a thief attacked my boy in his room. It was 5:30 am. The Brinks alarm did not recognize the intruder.
For several years, eleven years on December 9, 2008 to be exact, I have stood watch over my son Corban. When we began, he was in mom and dad's room where he was close to us. When he moved to his room there was the wireless monitor that created our ability to interpret sounds and discern those of joy from those of need. It was Corban's neurologist that finally suggested we turn the monitor off and try to get some rest ourselves which came after years of light sleeping. But there is a need that goes deeper than self preservation I think.
On most nights I will simply open his bedroom door and look in, listening for silence and even a sense of smell comes into play that I won't go into as you may be eating while you read this. A small lamp with a log cabin base and a vanilla shade with the silhouette of a moose and pine trees glows from the 15 watt bulb and gives enough light to burn all night and illuminate the room enough to see my boy sleeping. In his outdoor themed room hang a few deer heads that his daddy has taken and they are turned toward his bed in frozen stares that seem to be watching him. I know that may not be your thing but it is mine and so it has become Corban's as well. So every night, I and the herd stand watch over him in order to be alerted to anything that seems out of place. Oh but our reasons are valid and there have been no less than three times of heart stopping surprise when I have looked into my boy's room. After the third gran mal seizure, I learned to stare the others down. But it is less than easy.
So it happened that on this past Friday night when Corban crawled sleepily up beside me on the couch and we pulled the afghan over our legs that we both went to sleep sometime after 9 pm. Several hours later I woke up and carried us both into his room. Scooting him over, I crawled in bed beside him since mom had an early seminar the next morning. I wanted the chance to sleep in while she would be getting her morning routine going. It was 5:30 am when the first sound of the intruder woke me with gasping and the jerking of Corban's arm was followed by eyes fixed open and stiffness like a board in his neck and shoulders. The intruder had crept in undetected and was trying to take something of great importance away from me.
And so it goes on most nights this watch that I stand over my boy and the knowledge that there may come a time when the thief will come when least expected. And there is nothing I can do but trust in the one who made my boy and made him the way that he is. We are all made in God's image, right? That was a tough one for me to process. I process other tough things now and I am grateful. I am grateful to the one who made me and my boy who looks so much like me. We both have our weaknesses, our respective disabilities, and the similarities. The most glaring similarity is that our identity was given to us by default though the journey we are on to discover that identity is a journey everyday and it is earned.
Will you stand with me over my boy? Do you stand over your children or those of others? How about yourself? The only phrase that seems to make sense is this, "Abba, I am yours and I belong to you." For some reason that phrase helps me see through the blindness of life and I hold onto it with everything. I stand. Will you stand with me?
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