I could see Matt physically brace himself, as we waved our last goodbye to that boy of ours, through the airport security glass. Hating to disappoint the man, I walked three steps and let the tears fall. A mom can only put on a brave face for so long.
Of course, I had to suck in the tears as we walked from the airport to the truck, because it was the wee hours of the morning and single digits outside -could have ended up with a frozen lake for a face.
But as soon as the door shut in the warm truck, I cried buckets. At that point in our marriage, I could have asked Matt for anything. He would have given it to me, in exchange for a ceasing of waterworks. (Note to self: Keep a list of demands handy for just such a case.)
Oh, look at me. I’ve made myself cry again just talking about it. Just a sec’.
Okay, so we got home from the airport, and that sick man crawled back in bed, to try to get a few more hours of sleep. I made coffee, grabbed my new devotional book, The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy Keller, and settled onto the couch under a down blanket. The tears had dried up and all that was left was the constricting pain around my heart. Kids leaving home is dumb.
In the introduction to his book, Timothy Keller says the Psalms are:
…a medicine chest for the heart.
Wow did I know about medicine chests. Matt and I had been taking turns being sick for weeks and reaching for Dayquil and Vicks –anything to help us feel better.
So I read the Psalm for the day:
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Psalm 2:12 NIV)
The word “refuge” brought a scene to my mind from the movie Hidalgo. Frank Hopkins looks behind him in the desert, to see a terrifying and deadly sand storm quickly blowing in behind him. He barely outraces it on his horse, taking refuge in the ruins of an old building just in time.
Sadness was bearing down on me like a storm, and I was grateful the psalmist understood I needed a place.
A place with good walls.
Because when I hurt so bad that I can hardly breathe, my question for the Lord is usually, “Where? Where can I take all of this pain?”
The second word I grabbed from the verse was “blessed.” It means happy, and that was what I wanted to feel again. Interesting, I thought, that someone seeking refuge from a horrible force could find happiness. It comforted me, to see that “refuge” and “happiness” could be mashed together in the same moment.
And that is what I found in the Lord that morning. See how I ran to him with my broken mom heart, and he had just the thing? He cared enough to put the perfect words in front of me at just the right time, and being cared for made me happy.
Better than Vicks.
Blessed are all who take refuge. We have to run to take refuge in the Lord, instead of running for another Krispy Kreme or the remote control or Amazon just-one-click (not that I would ever do those things.)
For whatever ails you, I pray you will take refuge in the Lord today. I pray you will know the comfort of his strong walls and the special happiness waiting for you there.