Why you should be a mattress
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18
Late nights and early mornings are familiar since fatherhood gifted me a year ago. The quintet flanks me in the silent hours as I write because my computer is central to the nearby bedrooms.
On second thought, sometimes the hours are not so silent. My two-year-old just woke up crying.
When my righthand man arrived fulltime, I remember saying to his foster mom ahead of me that what was a real challenge for me during those first weeks was not understanding what his cries meant. Hungry? Tired? West Side Story, or more Hamilton?
I know what the cries mean now. More specifically, I know what the cries do to my heart (and this from the hospital chaplain intern in Boston for two years).
My little boy winds down his day when, after stories, he literally lowers his heart over mine. The top of his head cradles just under my chin. His soft hair tickles my nose. For a few minutes each night, I am his mattress.
We should all be mattresses to those whose tears that fall. Jesus tells his disciples there is trouble in the world so that they will have peace in understanding that Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33). In Romans 8, Paul discourses this same theme. We must share in Christ’s sufferings in order to share in his glory. Suffering for the Christian is meant to produce joy and strength in us, leading to a greater reward (Matthew 5:12).
You can’t quite unpack all this theological truth to a toddler. However, when someone who is hurting literally or metaphorically puts his or her heart over yours, then the partial understanding of God comforting the world one tear-soaked soul at a time is somehow
Glory will be revealed to us. I hope you agree with me that being the mattress until this happens is a blessing.
PRAYER: Lord, tears fall in our darkest hours. Help us hang on, and, as importantly, help us be comfort places for those who need just that, comfort. Amen.