Bump in the night

When I was little, I used to pray past the bump in the night,
The creaks on the stairwell,
My parents raised voices.

When I was little, I thought my father could drive out the monsters,
I felt much more afraid at my mother’s,
I got a nightlight to swallow my weakness.

When I was little, I prayed in the dark,
And I cried in the dark,
One tear for each pet returned to the Humane society,
My penance; I thought it worked that way.

When I was little, the shadows of the car light,
Passing through the venetian blinds into darkness,
Raced each other around my room until I nodded off.

When I was little,
I prayed over two dead Robin’s burial,
We dug a little ditch in my friends backyard,
I said a few words,
We put on more dirt.

When I was little,
I prayed that God would lift me out of my seat,
When the light shined through the big stained glass windows at Sunday service,
And he’d lift me high into the air,
And he’d prove that once and for all he loved me,
And that those stories weren’t some kind of joke.

I prayed that the stirring in my heart at my first communion meant something,
I prayed that there was a reason to care about my classmates who were rejected,
I prayed that the Christian kids would stop making me feel bad because of my family,
I prayed that maybe they’d be nicer to us.

When I was little, I didn’t ever realize I could trust in his promises,
And I’ve been running for a long time,
Feeling little and banking on hope,
That there would be vindication eventually.

And I find myself, older, still scared at the bump in the night,
Still praying to find the presence of Jesus,
Still seeking and looking for some sort of proof,
Telling myself to just go back to sleep, “If it’s a murderer, they’ll murder me”,
I wake up,
I search again,
But I know that my prayers will be answered.


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I am a second-grade teacher and pastor-to-be who loves people. I spend my weekends with friends or wandering the museums of DC alone and with a journal, trying to put words on the places of the soul that still feel wordless. I spent most of my days at school trying to learn patience through my students and running on sheer nerdy passion. I follow Jesus Christ, and savor that as my most important identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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