I slept in the room with my parents until I was five years old. When my brother left for college, I was promoted into his room. I liked the honor until night came. I wanted to go back to the familiar spot that was just a few feet from my mother.My parents would not let me return. In their wisdom, they knew it was time for me to grow beyond their reach. But my mother realized my need for comfort. My parents arranged the furniture, so my mother could see me from her bed in the next room.The only problem was that I was very nearsighted. When I took off my glasses, I could not see her. Lying in my bed, clutching my teddy bear, I would cry out, “Mother, can you see me?”
Her Voice always resonated gently through the darkness. “Yes, Carolyn, I’m right here.” Often if I could not sleep, I would call over and over again. I’m sure many parents would tire of this routine and just shut the door. But not my mother. While she did not come to my bedside or allow me to return to her room, she never failed to answer my calls.
Pretty soon I was able to sleep without the constant checking. Her proven abiding presence was enough for me to know she was there.
In 1997, my mother moved from her earth room to her heavenly mansion. I missed her terribly. I so wanted her to come to me or for there to be a way for me to go to her. But God was firm. He knew it was time for both my Mother and me to grow in new ways.
I tried to adjust to the new arrangement, but when the dark times of life came, I just wanted my mama. More than once, I looked up to where I thought Heaven might be and called out, “Mother, can you see me?” Sometimes I actually thought I could hear her answer, but it seemed it was only the wind or a vocal bird. Or perhaps God, Who spoke the same language she did.
As I looked for God, I discovered I had the same problem with Him that I had in my lonely room. Even though I felt reassured He was there, I wanted to see Him, up close and personal. As I poured out my heart to Him, He spoke to me as He had spoken to Thomas long ago.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed.” (John 20:29)
I began to realize that in the days before Jesus’ crucifixion, He began removing His Physical Self from the view of the Disciples. When the storm came up at sea, He was not immediately available. He was asleep. When He came to them, walking on the water, He had not been with them. After His Resurrection, He was not immediately visible to them.
Could it be that Jesus was preparing His Followers to live in a world where He would continue to be very present with them, but not visible in the old ways? Could it be that He wanted them to learn a lesson far greater than “monkey see, monkey do?” He wanted them to learn how to function with the certain knowledge that He was not in front of them, but He was inside of them?
In our darkest moments, we cry out, as did Jesus, “My God! my God! Why have You forsaken me?” The darkness seems to envelope us and we need that reassurance that we always thought came with seeing. But in the silence that follows, we recognize the heartbeat we thought was our own is our lifeline to His Heart. All that we desire, all that we need is inside of us! And when we believe, we see Him!
Beyond that Lesson, The Lord brought comfort in other ways from my mother. There are days when I look in the mirror and I catch a glimpse of something in myself that seems like her. I see an old friend, who knew her and they remark, “You’ve got your Mother’s smile!” Or I hear myself reacting just as she would have. And I realize she lives inside of me!
I asked The Lord how that could be. He smiled and said, “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you!” (Isaiah 66:13) He is with us always. He sees all. He hears all. He knows all. But most importantly, He loves us completely!
In John 8:12, Jesus assured us that He is The Light of the world. He said that whoever follows Him will have That Light. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells us we are The Light of the world. How can both be true? Because He lives inside of us! When we know confidently He is there, we can rest easy and just let Him shine through us!