He Runs Through the Night for Her

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“Bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but rather the mastery of fear for the sake of something greater.”

By Kelly Chripczuk | Twitter: @inthefieldswGod

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’” Isaiah 6:8

My two oldest children, four and six, share a room far enough away from my own upstairs bedroom that my husband and I keep a monitor on so we can hear if they need us in the middle of the night.  My son has bad dreams or wakes for one reason or another several nights a week.  He calls and we stagger downstairs to reassure and then everyone drifts gratefully back to sleep.

There are times, though, that we forget to turn on the monitor or we accidentally leave the volume down too low and we miss my son’s slow, repetitive cry.

“Mama, Dada, Mama, Dada.”

On these nights he’s forced to make the long trek down the dark hall, through the dining room and kitchen, and up the stairs to our room.

On the rare occasion that his older sister wakes up crying, our son also wakes and we listen over the monitor to his attempted interventions.

“Sophia?  Sophia, what’s wrong?” he asks before adding, “Do you want me to call for them?” Most often, though, she’s too overcome by emotion to reply. What we hear next is the thump of little feet hitting the ground as he’s off and running, through the cold, dark night, for his sister.

By this point my husband and I are also wide awake. One of us will stumble up and out of bed and through the door, only to run headlong into our son as he comes plowing up the stairs.

Breathless, he forms the words, “Sophia needs you.”

I love that he does this for his sister.

Maybe her crying scares him. Maybe he simply wants her to settle down so he can get back to sleep. Maybe, perhaps, this is the first tiny bud of chivalry.

Whatever his motivation may be, I know that journey through the dark night costs him something. 

I’m quite certain he’s afraid as he runs through the darkness–even I dislike walking though the strange and creaking shadows of a sleeping house, but I know that he’s also brave.

In running to get us for his sister, he puts aside his own fear for the sake of his sister’s comfort.

His earnest, spindly, four-year-old bravery helps me to remember that bravery isn’t the absence of fear, but rather the mastery of fear for the sake of something greater.

Like love and gratitude, bravery moves us out of ourselves and our need for personal comfort into a broader space of possibility and active hope.

– Bravery allows us to jump, though we fear the fall.

– Bravery allows us to speak, though our voice trembles.

– Bravery allows us to love deeply, though we fear the pain it may bring.

There are people all over the world waking, crying out in the darkness; people too overcome by the power of their particular bondage to ask for help.

The question remains for the rest of us: will we allow ourselves to be awakened to their cries?  Are we willing to go running through the darkest of nights to bring them help?

Prayer:  Oh God, thank you for the One who journeyed through the darkest of nights to bring help and hope for us all. Grant us the courage to say, “Here I am, send me!” And should we also awaken to a night darker than our darkest dreams, may God send us a rescuer too, some brave bearer of good news, some sweet angel of relief.

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About Kelly:

Kelly Chripczuk’s life was turned upside down with the surprise arrival of twin boys in 2011. She is a licensed pastor, blossoming spiritual director and firm believer in the power of “little things” to change the world. Kelly now has four children six and under and is very thankful to have the. best. husband. ever. She blogs at https://afieldofwildflowers-kellys.blogspot.com/

Photo credit: Moon by dvs on flickr

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