I wish I could better protect the ones I love.

One of the most painful nights of my life happened when my son Noah got croup really bad and had to be hospitalized one night. He also had a brutal nagging cough so harsh that his stomach muscles started to let go and stretch out. I spent the night in the spoon position behind him in the hospital bed with my arms wrapped tightly behind him so I could hold in his stomach. Every cough sent tearing pain through his gut, and drove a knife into my heart. I prayed and prayed and God didn’t heal him. We had to wait it out.

My kids used to believe me with every fiber of their being when I told them they were awesome. Now a bunch of those fibers are responsive other voices, hurtful voices, and are starting to go against the grain. Now the look in their eyes is tempered some when I affirm them. Now part of them doesn’t believe, but wants to.

A friend of mine is single and lonely. He’s going to make a great, loyal, loving husband… but short of setting him up with someone (which isn’t my style) there’s nothing I can do. I know prayer is something, I do. But on days like today I’d like to grab a cave woman by the hair and drag her home for him.

My son Noah has been bullied a couple of times this year. He’s handled it pretty well, all things considered, but I wish I could have been there. Could have stepped in the way and protected him.

This week my Lovely is so very tired, almost ragged in her soul. She’s worn out. I wish I could just lift that fatigue off her soul, take it onto my own or even just throw it in a BFI bin for her.

I know deep down that if I really did have the power to protect and insulate my loved ones from everything I thought was bad I’d actually be stunting their growth, that I’d be depriving them of the context against which their most radiant joy will compare itself. Every painting needs some dark colors, some contrast. I know that, I’m an artist even. But it’s hard.

Today, God, my heart aches for the ones I love. I want to protect them. But that’s your job, I guess. Today, God, is one of those days when I choose to trust your heart in the face of darkness I wish you’d just wipe away like a stray tear. Today I pray for the end of the night for my lonely brother, the face of dawn and a new day.